MANILA—Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go on Saturday withdrew his candidacy for vice president and will run for president instead, an announcement in a flurry of others that rocked national election season.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa dropped out of the presidential race, hours after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio through a representative made a substitution to run for vice president under Lakas-CMD.
But it was one official's confirmation that President Rodrigo Duterte would run for vice president — after having announced his plan to retire from politics last month — that overshadowed the day's storylines at the Comelec headquarters in Manila.
Sec. Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said Duterte would file his certificate of candidacy (COC) via substitution on Monday, the last day to submit changes to candidacies.
He added, however, that: "I would like to believe that that is the plan for now. We don't know if this will be the same plan by tomorrow or by Monday."
Go filed his (COC) under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS).
In a statement, PDP-Laban said the party and the PDDS will be united in promoting their candidates, noting Go's "wealth of experience acquired from years of mentorship under President Duterte", PDP-Laban said.
The PDDS supported the senatorial run of Go in 2019.
Go is in his first term as senator, having run as a neophyte in 2019 after serving as Duterte's aide.
For months, Sara had insisted she wanted to serve another term as Davao City mayor in the family's southern bailiwick — the position her father held before he was elected president in 2016 — despite leading in surveys of voter preferences for the next president.
Speculation about her plans intensified this week after she suddenly withdrew from the mayoral contest. She also quit her regional party and joined Lakas-CMD, the national political party of her close ally and former president Gloria Arroyo.
Sara's decision to run for vice president leaves Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. in a strong position in the presidential race.
Marcos Jr. has been a front-runner in voter polls, ahead of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, world champion boxer Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, and incumbent Vice-President Leni Robredo.
On social media, Dela Rosa, whose hasty participation in the presidential race last month led critics to believe he wasn't in it for the long run, said it was an honor to get the people's support for the “1 month and 5 days” he dreamt of becoming president. — With an Agence France-Presse report