MANILA (UPDATE)—Veteran newsman Noli de Castro announced Wednesday he is withdrawing his senatorial bid, less than a week after announcing his candidacy.
In a statement, De Castro said that while he had already filed his candidacy last Friday, he had a change of heart and saw that he would better serve the people as a newsman.
"Isinumite ko ang aking kandidatura sa Comelec noong Biyernes. Ngunit nagkaroon ng pagbabago ang aking plano," he said.
(I submitted my candidacy in Comelec last Friday. However, there is a change in plan.)
"Nais kong iparating sa lahat ng aking mga kaibigan at supporters na naghahanda na sanang tumulong sa akin, na nagpasiya akong hindi na ituloy ang aking kandidatura."
(I want to inform all my friends and supporters who are gearing up to help me that I have decided not to continue my candidacy.)
While he is dropping his plan of seeking a seat at the Senate, De Castro stressed he would continue serving the public.
"Kasabay ng pagdarasal sa Poong Nazareno, napag-isip-isip kong mas makatutulong ako sa pagbibigay ng boses sa ating mga kababayan sa pamamagitan ng pamamahayag," he said.
(Together with my prayers to Black Nazarene, I have realized that I could better help giving voice to the public through broadcasting.)
He said he would continue to be the "voice of the public," especially at a time of political noise while others use their power for selfish interests. He also thanked Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and the Aksyon Demokratiko party for accepting him to the party.
'WE RESPECT HIS DECISION'
For his part, Moreno said he respects De Castro's decision and wished him well.
"Vice Pres. Noli has personal reasons for giving up his senatorial run, which we respect. In truth, when my team was convincing him to run once more for the Senate, he contemplated on it for a long time," he said.
"We respect his decision to forego his re-entry into national politics, and wish him well because we know that he will continue to have the best interests of our people, as the Pambansang Kabayan, in his heart.”
Aksyon Demokratiko chairperson Ernest Ramel said De Castro would continue to be a member of the party.
"We will continue to consult with him having vast experience in public service and his dedication to the welfare of the Filipinos. We are saddened by his decision but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors," he said.
Last week, De Castro bid goodbye to ABS-CBN as he announced plans to mount a political comeback in the 2022 elections.
De Castro topped the senatorial election in 2001 but did not finish his 6-year term after winning the vice-presidency 3 years later.
De Castro, more popularly known as "Kabayan," returned to broadcasting in 2010 at the end of his term as vice-president.
He anchored ABS-CBN's prime time newscast "TV Patrol" and hosted a radio morning program on TeleRadyo.
Before entering politics, the veteran journalist, whose full name is Manuel Leuterio de Castro, Jr., started his broadcasting career as a field reporter in RPN in 1976.
He transferred to ABS-CBN in 1986 as segment host of "Good Morning, Philippines."
He then anchored various television and radio shows for the network, including the popular "Magandang Gabi, Bayan".
De Castro was born in Pola, Oriental Mindoro. He earned a degree in banking and finance from the University of the East.