The administration party PDP Laban is praying for a “miracle” that Senator Bong Go would still change his mind on withdrawing his presidential candidacy in next year’s election.
PDP Laban secretary-general Melvin Matibag on Thursday revealed that party officials have yet to talk with Go following his withdrawal that left the party chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte without a candidate for the Palace.
Mr. Duterte late Thursday said Go’s decision to withdraw “made a lot of people sad.”
“Off the cuff, you have made a lot of people sad than happy. We respect your decision especially if family is involved,” Duterte said in a speech Thursday at his first public event since Go he is withdrawing his presidential bid.
“We cannot do anything about it,” he added, but with a hint that hope spring eternal. The President asked: “What is it really, Bong? Will you run or not?”
Go is the President’s presidential bet, and it remains unclear whether Duterte will publicly endorse another Palace contender.
“I still haven’t considered the idea where Senator Bong Go is no longer my candidate. We are all-in for Senator Bong Go,” Matibag said on television.
“I will be honest with you that until now, I am praying for a miracle that he will continue his bid. We are still awaiting his move because he hasn’t withdrawn officially yet,” Matibag said.
PDP Laban president and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has said he respects Go’s decision as a “man of principle” worthy of comparison with the hero Andres Bonifacio, the acknowledged Father of the Philippine Revolution.
Open to adopting
Following Cusi’s statement on Wednesday, Cabinet Secretary and PDP Laban executive secretary Karlo Nograles said that if Go would be firm on his decision, the party may adopt a candidate for president from another party.
Go announced that he is dropping out of the 2022 presidential race on 30 November, citing as a primary reason his family’s opposition to his running.
In the event Go withdraws officially, PDP Laban sources said the party may look for a presidential candidate whose principles are aligned with theirs.
PDP Laban was formed in 1982 to fight the authoritarian administration of Marcos Jr.’s father and namesake. Go filed his Certificate of Candidacy for president under the PDP Laban’s allied party, Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS).
On Thursday, Davao City Mayor and vice-presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio rallied the supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte to keep alive her father’s legacy past 2022.
“I call on all supporters of the Duterte administration to be united in pursuing our goal to continue and expand the good programs initiated by my father. I thank you for hearing my request,” Duterte-Carpio said.
She sounded optimistic that the supporters of the President, if not President Duterte himself, would prop her bid for the vice presidency, as well as the presidential candidacy of her running mate, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
This, despite the fact that the President has characterized Marcos Jr. in November as a “weak leader,” one who is saddled with “baggage.”
“For the sake of unity among our supporters and leaders, we will continue our unity with the BBM-Sara Uniteam,” Duterte-Carpio said.
Both Marcos and Duterte-Carpio have vowed to continue the Duterte administration’s key programs should they emerge victorious next year.
Another presidential candidate, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has also pined for the endorsement of his candidacy by the President, again despite Duterte expressing some misgivings in the past on the mayor’s kind of leadership.
with MJ Blancaflor