Senator Christopher “Bong” Go is appealing to supporters and critics alike not to doubt his intention to withdraw from the 2022 presidential race, insisting that he would formally file his statement of withdrawal before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) at the right time.
This, as he reminded his supporters not to hold “camp outs” and gatherings outside the Comelec office, Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, to convince him to pursue his 2022 bid.
“To our supporters, I appeal that you understand my decision. Please stop using tarpaulins and other campaign materials. Think of it as a Christmas gift to avoid gathering at Comelec especially now that there’s a pandemic,” he said in Filipino in a press statement.
Citing the Comelec, Go said he had until May 9, 2022 to formally withdraw his candidacy.
He urged his supporters not to get their hopes up anymore.
“As a matter of principle, do not consider me as a candidate anymore because I have already spoken. Those who are rushing me are probably my critics. Don’t doubt me because I am only being true to my thoughts,” he added partly in Filipino.
He said he would not have announced his plan to withdraw if he did not mean it.
“If I had decided to push through, I would not have declared that I would withdraw. Just relax. I hope you will just respect my request. Only the Lord knows where our destiny will take us. For now, we just keep on serving. Thank you for your understanding,” he added in Filipino.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said the long waiting game on who are officially running in 2022 may jeopardize the conduct of orderly polls.
“The prolonged uncertainty of whether a person is running or not is not conducive to orderly elections,” Jimenez said in a press briefing. “I am actually concerned about the people who are waiting for him to make that decision… so far they’ve been exposed to the elements outside.”
Meanwhile, Go acknowledged that he has been repetitive about his belief that it was not yet his time to run for the country’s highest elected post.
He said he is ready to “sacrifice” for the sake of unity among all Filipinos, President Rodrigo Duterte, and his family.
Go said even Duterte himself understood why his family was against his initial decision to run as president.
In a speech in Zamboanga City on Dec. 2, Duterte said he respects the decision of Go to withdraw from the presidential race even if it made a lot of people “sad.”