Bong Go’s continuing saga

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

One can only speculate on the reason behind Senator Bong Go's withdrawal from the presidential race.

He gave his reasons, of course, among which is that he does not want to put an additional burden on the president. PRRD is more than a father to him. They have been with each other in the good times and the bad.

Their closeness could be traced back to their days in the Davao City Hall. Bong has always been loyal to the president. And the president reciprocated such loyalty. The president's endorsement of his senatorial run helped, to a large extent, Bong win. And from all indications, PRRD appeared ready to make him win as president.

Although he is a senator, Bong does not just make himself busy with legislative matters. He has also made himself visible in such efforts as helping fire victims all over the country. In Cebu alone, he visited many of the fire victims.

He is also tireless in establishing so many Malasakit Centers which has helped thousands of poor Filipino patients who cannot afford to pay for their hospital bills. Many are thankful to him for that project.

These efforts have endeared him to not just a few.

Some say that the reason for his withdrawal may be the result of the surveys after his declaration to run. But it's too early to make such a conclusion, considering the fact that the official campaign period has not even started yet, and that president was yet to give his all to make him win.

Bong, if he persisted, would have the backing of the massive political machinery of the administration. With President Rodrigo Duterte’s popularity, his endorsement for the next election would still matter.

It's also wise to take signs from credible survey firms. But during elections, there are survey firms which are apparently hurriedly formed.

Bong is also the choice of many voters who are not inclined to vote for Bongbong or Leni.

But it's all water under the bridge now. Bong also humbly surmised that it's not yet his time.

What follows his withdrawal is the question of who will benefit from it. Another question is: Who will now get the support of the political party of the administration? Who will be endorsed by the president?

Given the so many political twists and turn of events even before the filing of the certificate of candidacy, the saner thing to do is to wait for the coming days on the answer to these questions.

Bong will still be a senator after 2022. Only time will tell whether his retreat was an unwise move or just a postponement of his date with destiny.

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