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Bong Go files COC for president; Duterte to run for VP

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Saturday filed his certificate of candidacy for president in the May 2022 elections.

Accompanied by President Rodrigo Duterte, Go filed before the Commission on Elections his candidacy papers under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), a political party led by senatorial aspirant Greco Belgica.

Go substituted for Grepor Belgica, the original PDDS standard bearer. The lawmaker also withdrew his candidacy for vice president under the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Both Greco Belgica and Cusi explained that Go had to run under PDDS to avoid "legal complications" in light of the infighting within PDP-Laban.

The poll body has yet to resolve the petition filed by the Cusi group in September seeking to declare Senators Manny Pacquiao and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III as illegitimate representatives of their party.

"Nevertheless, PDP Laban and PDDS are united in carrying one team for both our national and local candidates," PDP-Laban secretary general Melvin Matibag said in a statement.

"The Alliance of PDP Laban and PDDS is strong and will work tirelessly to push for continuity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s brand of leadership, which includes a tough stance against criminals, grafters, drug lords, and terrorists, on the one hand, and a genuine concern for the masses, on the other." 

As to who will be Go’s running mate under PDDS, Greco Belgica said, "We’re waiting for what the party will decide."


Meanwhile, Go said that he had stepped aside and withdrew his VP candidacy for Duterte.

"Kung kailangan kong magsakripisyo at tumabi alang-alang kay Pangulong Duterte, yun po ang aking ginawa," said the senator in a 24 Oras Weekend report.

"Pagpapatuloy ko ang tunay na pagseserbisyo, tunay na malasakit, at tunay na pagbabago," Go added.

Duterte, meanwhile, will run for vice president.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte would file his COC on November 15, the deadline for withdrawal and substitution for national and local elections aspirants. 

If Duterte pursues his vice presidential bid, he is set to clash with his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who earlier filed her COC for vice president under Lakas-CMD.

Also on Saturday, Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa of PDP-Laban withdrew his COC for president.— VBL, GMA News