Long-shot presidential bets Gonzales, Abella brush off calls to withdraw

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Presidential candidates attend the second round of Comelec-sponsored Pilipinas Debates 2022 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila tent in Pasay City on Sunday, April 3, 2022.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, who is running for president in this year's elections, said Sunday that a fellow presidential bet has asked him in person to back out from the race.

Asked if he was open to such discussions, he answered: "No way."

"Kasi once you run for office this high, siyempre marami ka ding supporters. Nakakahiya naman iiwanan mo nalang sila. That's very irresponsible," he said in a chance interview with reporters before the presidential debate of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

(Because once you run for office this high, of course you already have a lot of supporters. It is shameful to leave them. That's very irresponsible.)

He did not, however, give details on what transpired during the talk. He also did not disclose the name of the presidential bet he spoke with.

Gonzales, the standard-bearer of the Philippine Democratic Socialist Party, is trailing behind in pre-election surveys. 

In a separate chance interview, former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that he had been approached to withdraw from the presidential race on the premise of "the whole thing about consolidation."

 He said that his response to the call to withdraw was: "Well, you know, you entered into this. Finish it. Nothing is over until the fat lady sings."

Pulse Asia Research Inc., in its latest pre-poll survey, said Gonzales and Abella- "receive(d) essentially no support from the country's electorate" in terms of their preference. 

The national and local elections are set to take place on May 9. 



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