By Jonathan P. Gesmundo
Certificates of candidacies (CoC) for 18,000 national and local positions – from President to town councilor – are being filed at various Commission on Elections (COMELEC) offices and satellite registration sites nationwide while observing strict health protocols.
The surprise filing of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go for Vice President – replacing Pres. Rodrigo Duterte who was officially endorsed by PDP-Laban (Cusi faction) – followed earlier submissions of CoCs including Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the first to file a CoC for the Presidency under Promdi Party, not PDP-Laban (Pimentel faction).
When Sen. Bong Go filed his CoC, he was accompanied by Pres. Duterte who declared his retirement from politics.
The same was earlier done by Sen. Pacquiao whose announcement of retirement from a 27-year career as professional boxer reverberated around the boxing world.
Pacquiao surprised everyone when he filed his CoC together with former Manila Rep. Lito Atienza as his running-mate for Vice President.
A day before the start of the filing of CoCs, 1Sambayan officially endorsed Vice President Leni Robredo as nominee for the movement’s candidate for President. She promised to decide whether to accept the nomination before the one-week period for filing of candidacy ends.
While Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte formally submitted her bid to run for re-election, rumors abound she could now accept the persistent clamor to go for the presidency with Bong Go as her running-mate.
Many remember Sara’s revelation of her family’s agreement that only one Duterte will run for President or VP, fueling the rumors.
Results of the September 6 to 11, 2021 Pulse Asia survey showed Sara Duterte remaining top choice for president (20% of respondents) while Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto led the picks for Vice President (25%).
Other possible successors to Rodrigo Duterte include Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso a.k.a. Isko Moreno, Sen. Ping Lacson and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos.
Pres. Duterte’s approval rating remains high, at 62% last June 2021, according to Social Weather Station.