By ALFRED GABOT, Editor in Chief
PASAY CITY – In a surprise announcement, President Rodrigo Duterte said on October 2 that he is retiring from politics.
Duterte made the announcement minutes after his longtime aide, Senator Christopher Lawrence Bong Go, filed his certificate of candidacy for Vice President before the Commission on Elections filing center at the Sofitel Hotel here.
Duterte, who earlier signed his acceptance of the nomination for vice president by the PDP-Laban, said he was giving way to Senator Go in deference to public opinion that he could be violating the Constitution if he run for the number two post of the land, adding that surveys also showed that many people are opposed to his candidacy.
Senator Go was the nominee of the PDP-Laban for president.
With Duterte’s withdrawal from the race, it is widely believed that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will change her mind and could run for president under the wings of the administration party.
So far, only Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao has filed his certificate of candidacy for president as other announced candidates – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno Domagoso and Sen. Panfilo Lacson – they were filing their CoCs within the week.
Meanwhile, Vice President Maria Leonor Leni Robredo transferred her voting precinct from Naga City to a town in Camarines Sur, boosting speculation that she would be running for governor instead of president.
Pacquiao’s runningmate, Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza, also filed his CoC for vice president.
Go and Atienza are expected to slug it out with Dr. Willie Ong, Mayor Isko’s runningmate, and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Lacson’s candidate for VP.