By Filane Mikee Cervantes
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go (File photo)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Thursday said he would not join the presidential race in the upcoming 2022 national elections.
In a statement, Go said President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark regarding the lawmaker’s supposed plan to run for president next year was just a casual joke.
“I am very grateful for the trust given to me by the President. Salamat po sa tiwala pero alam naman po ng Pangulo na hindi talaga ako interesado. Biro lang ng Pangulo iyon (Thank you for the trust but the President knows that I am not interested. The President was just joking),” Go said. “Please count me out sa usaping pulitika sa 2022 (from talks about politics in 2022).”
Go, however, said he would probably change his mind if Duterte runs for vice president in the upcoming polls.
He noted that his Senate term would last until 2025, as he vowed to continue being of service to the Filipino people.
“Bawat araw po na binigay niyo sa akin na pagkakataon na magserbisyo sa inyo ay hindi ko sasayangin. Ibabalik ko po sa tao ang serbisyong para po sa inyo (Every day that you’ve given me as an opportunity to serve you won’t go to waste. I would give the people the kind of service that they deserve),” Go said.
During the inauguration of the newly-constructed Port Operations Building at the Port of Dumaguete in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on Thursday, Duterte said Go had asked him a favor to tell the public about the lawmaker’s supposed plan to join the 2022 presidential race.
“Itong si Senator Bong Go, pababa kami sa eroplano, sabi niya na ‘Sir, may hingin sana ako saýo ng pabor.’ Sabi ko, ‘Ano?’ Sabi niya, ‘Medyo, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, malayo pa pero ikaw na lang ang mag-sabi sa kanila.’ Sabihin ko, ang totoo talaga, isang bagay lang. Sabihin daw sa inyo, gusto niya maging president (Senator Bong Go, when we were about to disembark from the plane, said, ‘Sir, I have a favor to ask.’ I asked him, ‘What is that?’ He said, ‘It somehow leaves a bad taste in the mouth, it’s still far but I want you to tell them.’ I will tell you the truth. He wants me to tell you that he wants to be president),” Duterte said, drawing cheers from the crowd.
Duterte’s latest statement came despite Go’s insistence that he is not gunning for the presidency in 2022.
It also came amid calls for Go and Duterte to run for president and vice president, respectively.
Earlier Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque recalled Duterte’s previous statement that the Chief Executive has no plan to become the country’s next vice president next year. (PNA)