MANILA – The preferred successor of Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, announced Tuesday he will drop the presidential race, leaving the administration without a candidate in the polls. check next year.
Go, a longtime aide to Mr. Duterte, recently hinted that he might pull out of the presidential race and said the president respects his decision.
His withdrawal raises questions about who Mr. Duterte popularly supports now in the May 2022 elections. The 76-year-old leader is not eligible to run for re-election, but will run for the seat. Senator.
“President Duterte and I stand ready to support anyone who will truly serve and be able to continue and protect Duterte’s legacy towards a more comfortable, secure and prosperous life for our children. “, Go said in a Facebook statement.
Analysts say Mr Duterte wants to secure an ally to succeed him so he can be insulated from possible legal action at home or by the International Criminal Court, which has launched an investigation. thousands of murders in his “war on drugs”.
Mr. Duterte’s daughter, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, is running for the ceremonial deputy minister position alongside the late Philippine dictator’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who has emerged as a go-to person. head.
Political observers say Go’s withdrawal from the race will likely benefit the Marcos/Duterte-Carpio ticket as it will strengthen the Dutertes’ voter base after the 43-year-old mayor and that support could extended to Marcos.
“There is nothing more confusing about government support,” said Aries Arugay, a fellow at the ISEAS Yusof-Ishak Institute and a professor of political science at the University of the Philippines.
Marcos against other presidential ambitions, including former boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, vice president Leni Robredo, Manila mayor Francisco Domagoso and senator Panfilo Lacson. He is facing several disqualification cases based on a nearly three-decade sentence for tax evasion.
(Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Ed Davies and Lincoln Feast)