Senator Christopher “Bong” Go (File photo)

MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has until election day to file his statement of withdrawal from the presidential race, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Wednesday.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) presidential candidate may file his statement of withdrawal until May 9, 2022.

“Until election day he can withdraw,” he told reporters.

On Tuesday, Go announced that he is backing out from the presidential race.

Jimenez added that Go’s name will be placed in the ballot if he would not file his statement of withdrawal before the printing of the ballots in January 2022.

“Unless he withdraws, he will continue to be considered a candidate,” he said. “He has yet to file. He will become an official when the campaign period starts, in case he did not file his withdrawal.”

He said if Go’s name will be included in the ballot and would decide to formally withdraw on the day of the elections, the votes he received will not be counted.

“If his name was included in the ballot and he was not able to withdraw, he will not be disqualified. But if he withdraws on election day and was able to pullout from the race, then the votes received by that name on the ballot would be considered stray,” he said.

Jimenez said the votes will be read but will not be counted.

“It will be counted for record purposes, but it will not be included in the final tally of votes,” he said.

On Tuesday, Jimenez said Go has to “personally” submit his statement of withdrawal.

Jimenez also said substitution would no longer be allowed since the withdrawal is voluntary. (PNA)