SENATOR Bong Go yesterday announced that he is withdrawing his candidacy for president in May 2022 elections.
This came almost a week after he admitted that he was still waiting for “a sign from God” on whether or not he should push through with his presidential bid.
In a statement, Go explained that his family was not in favor of his presidential run. He also said he does not want to put President Rodrigo Duterte in a difficult situation.
“Ayoko rin pong lalong maipit si Pangulong Duterte. Higit pa po sa tatay ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya,” he said.
Go reiterated his willingness to “make the supreme sacrifice for the good of our country and for the sake of unity” among their supporters.
“In the past few days, I realized that my heart and my mind are contradicting my actions. Talagang nagre-resist po ang aking katawan, puso, at isipan. Tao lang po ako, nasasaktan at napapagod din [My body, heart and mind are resisting. I am just a human. I get hurt and tired sometimes],” Go said.
“Sa ngayon po, ‘yun ang mga rason ko. That is why I am withdrawing from the race,” he added.
Go, meanwhile, told the presidential aspirants to prioritize the welfare of the country and the interest of the Filipinos.
Before getting elected senator in 2019, Go served as special assistant to Duterte.
“Sa nagdaang mga araw, habang tumatagal at umiinit ang pulitika sa bansa, mas lalo akong napapaisip kung ano ang mas makakabuti sa taumbayan, pati na rin kay Pangulong Duterte at sa aking pamilya.”
“Lubos ang aking pasasalamat sa lahat ng supporters na walang tigil na nagtitiwala sa akin at kay Pangulong Duterte. Kaya gusto kong magpakatotoo sa inyong lahat at ayaw ko nang patagalin pa ang bigat ng nararamdaman ko,” Go said.
Bong Go calls for heightened vigilance, cooperation amid threat of Omicron COVID
CHAIR of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography Christopher “Bong” Go urged Filipinos to be more cautious and to strictly adhere to the health and safety protocols as the nation faces the threat of Omicron COVID-19 variant.
“Huwag muna tayong makumpiyansa dahil delikado pa rin ang panahon lalo na at may mga bagong variant ng COVID-19 gaya nitong Omicron,” said Go.
“Sayang yung naumpisahan natin — ang magandang takbo ng ating COVID-19 response at vaccine rollout — kung magiging kampante muli tayo,” he added.
“Sumunod tayo sa mga patakaran at magtiwala tayo sa payo ng mga eksperto at otoridad na wala namang ibang hangarin kundi ang kapakanan ng buong sambayanan,” he stressed.
The new Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on November 24. According to WHO, the variant features a considerable number of mutations, making it a variant of concern.
Present vaccines were based on the original Wuhan strain which is considerably different from the Omicron variant, prompting experts to warn that the latter may evade vaccine protection. It remains to be seen by experts if the new variant may be more transmissible and it will be weeks before it can be determined if it causes more severe COVID-19 cases.
In response, the government has halted inbound flights from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe until December 15 to prevent the variant from entering the country. The Department of Health stated on Saturday, November 27, that discussions are ongoing about expanding the travel ban.
Go, meanwhile, reiterated the importance of self-discipline and bayanihan in warding off the threats of COVID-19 and its emerging variants.
“Bilang Chair ng Senate Committee on Health, lagi kong pinapaalala sa ating mga kababayan na ang pinakamalaking bahagi ng bayanihan ay ang ating sariling pag-iingat at disiplina upang maiwasang bumagsak ang ating health system,” he said.
“Ang ating kooperasyon ay tulong natin sa ating health workers na binubuwis ang kanilang sariling buhay para makapagligtas ng buhay ng iba,” the senator added.
Go also appealed to those who are not yet inoculated to do so as soon as possible, especially as some studies found that Omicron’s full impact will be felt in countries where fewer are vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Senator Go joined President Rodrigo Duterte, other government officials and stakeholders at SM City Masinag in Antipolo City, Rizal on Monday for the launch of the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan National COVID-19 Vaccination Days”.
The three-day nationwide event is running from November 29 to December 1, with the aim of vaccinating an additional nine million individuals to help the country hit its target of achieving population protection or fully vaccinating at least 50% of the population by the end of the year.
“This is our single biggest push to fast track vaccinations … By the end of 2021, we expect to fully vaccinate a total of 54 million Filipinos. We also aim to inoculate 80 percent of the population of minors aged 12 to 17 years and complete the booster shots for those belonging to A1, A2 and A3 sectors,” President Duterte said in a speech.
“This multisectoral event is a resounding expression of our bayanihan spirit which coincides with the nation’s observance of Bonifacio Day on November 30. Indeed, the heroic example of Andres Bonifacio’s courage resonates in each of us as we work together to fast track and intensify our efforts to overcome this pandemic,” he continued.
Sen. Go similarly called on Filipinos, particularly those who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, to support the joint initiative between the government and private sector. The event is being implemented in some 8,000 vaccinations sites in all regions, excluding Metro Manila.
“Patuloy po na sinisiguro ng ating gobyerno na pangalagaan ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng bawat Pilipino. Dahil sa ating bayanihan, unti-unti na tayong nakakabangon mula sa epekto ng pandemya upang tuluyan ng manumbalik ang sigla ng ating bayan,” said the senator.
“Ito pong handog na ‘Bayanihan, Bakunahan’ ang isa sa mga paraan upang hikayatin ang ating mga kababayan na magpabakuna. Handa ang ating gobyerno. May sapat na supply na tayo ng bakuna,” he reassured.
Continuing his message, Go expressed his deep gratitude to everyone who worked together to make the event possible. He reminded the participants to adhere to the government-issued protocols to prevent the disease from spreading and starting another spike in the number of COVID-19 cases as the holiday season approaches.