President Rodrigo Duterte last week finally put a cap on his four-decade career in public service when he submitted his letter of withdrawal from the Senate race before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) head office in Intramuros, Manila.
This was confirmed in a tweet by Comelec spokesman James Jimenez: “The President has filed his withdrawal from the senatorial elections.”
Mr. Duterte’s move came hours after his trusted aide, Senator Bong Go (who arrived all alone in a taxicab sans bodyguards), also personally showed up before the Comelec offices in Palacio del Gobernador to hand in his official withdrawal letter from the May 2022 presidential derby.
Per Comelec regulations, Jimenez said earlier, Duterte and Go – who bar none are the most high-profile candidates who had previously filed their certificates of candidacies (CoCs) – were constrained to undergo the process so that their names would not be included in the ballots come election day and stricken from the list of official candidates.
Ironically, Mr. Duterte’s withdrawal came after his candidacy for senator was openly endorsed by his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who is running for vice president under the Federal Party of presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said his boss opted to retire from the Senate derby and instead concentrate on fulfilling his 2016 promises to the Filipino people, and more importantly to see to it that there will be clean, honest and orderly elections this coming May 9.
Duterte and Go are both members of the administration’s PDP-Laban (Cusi wing) party which they “deserted” in favor of running as candidates for senator and president, respectively, in the obscure Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) via substitution, the deadline of which lapsed last Nov. 15.
Photo: CNN Philippines/ Rappler