Senator Bong Go declines Cusi-led PDP-Laban endorsement to run for president

Sen. Bong Go being interviewed by reporters outside the Ecoland 4000 Residences on Thursday (31 October 2019), hours after the first two floors of its Himeji Building collapsed following the magnitude 6.5 earthquake. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 August) – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, a former long-time aide of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, declined Monday the endorsement of the Partido Demoktratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to run for president in the 2022 elections.

This came days after Mayor Sara Duterte asked her father and Go to just admit their intention of running in tandem for next year and stop using her as an excuse for running or not running in the presidential and vice presidential races, respectively.

In his August 30 letter addressed to Cusi, who is the president of one of the PDP-Laban factions, Go said that “he is not interested in running for the country’s highest position.”

He said that he was “deeply honored by the trust and confidence” of the members of the PDP-Laban National Executive Committee for urging him to run for president next year.

On August 4, the council met via Zoom and adopted a resolution nominating Go as the party’s standard-bearer and his longtime boss, President Duterte, as his running mate.

President Duterte announced recently that he is running for vice president.

“For a simple (person) who hails from a city in the south, the endorsement alone by (the) esteemed members and officers of the NEC is (a) great personal honor for me,” Go said.

Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, said “he would rather devote his time and attention in helping the government and our people overcome this pandemic as soon as possible.”

“This includes not just crafting laws but also performing representation and constituency services, particularly by helping those in need, as I have been doing ever since,” he added.

Go’s statement came a day after the Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel-led PDP-Laban faction ousted Cusi as party president and President Duterte as chairman, and officially elected Pimentel as chairman and Senator Manny Pacquaio as its president.

The Pimentel-led faction endorsed Pacquaio as its standard bearer for the 2022 national elections.

Pacquiao, however, has yet to make a final decision. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)