Duterte’s favorite contestant quits Philippines presidential race

Bangkok, Nov 30 (EFE).- Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, closely supported by President Rodrigo Duterte as his favorite successor, Tuesday announced that he was withdrawing from the Philippines presidential race.

Go, who has been a senator since 2019 and is a close ally of Duterte, said he was not prepared to face the demanding electoral campaign, and his family did not believe that he should run for the presidency.

The senator said he did not want the 76-year-old president to participate in the campaign for fear of causing him excessive exhaustion due to his age.

Go first decided to run the presidential race in September, then chose to run for vice president, and finally ran for the presidency on Nov.13.

The sudden changes in strategy are due to the complicated political game of Duterte and his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, who have ended up in separate camps.

As per the law, the Philippines president cannot stand for re-election.

Duterte is running as a Senate candidate.

Duterte-Carpio is running for the vice presidency in alliance with Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, a presidential hopeful and son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Marcos and Duterte-Carpio have allied to bring together the influence and legacy of the two powerful but controversial Filipino political families.

According to a Nov.20 opinion poll, Marcos and Duterte-Carpio are the current favorites.

They enjoy the support of 56.7 percent of those surveyed, compared to 41.3 percent who supported the candidacy of Leni Robredo, current vice president and rival of Rodrigo Duterte.

The president and vice president are voted separately in the Philippines. So, it may be the case that they belong to different parties and are political rivals.

Duterte-Carpio seems to be strategically distancing herself from her father who enjoys great electoral support but is being probed by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity in his bloody war on drugs.

With the withdrawal of Go, it remains to be seen who President Rodrigo will support now in the May 2022 election. EFE


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