THE withdrawal of Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go from the Presidential derby came as a surprise as when he was pushed by party leadership into the race.
I can feel the excruciating predicament he suddenly found himself in. He was 40 days into his Vice Presidential quest when Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte opted to run for Vice President instead of the Presidency, a post that was hers almost in a silver platter.
Of course, Bong will be the last person to run against Mayor Inday Sara. His party mates may have thought so and gone ahead fielded him in the Presidential run. It was like a jump ball where the ball was tipped and landed in the hands of Sen. Bong Go. For a while, he dribbled it contemplating whether he will go for the goal or pass it to another player. Bong was in this kind of predicament. The only difference is that he is not playing his favorite sports. He is in the midst of a political dogfight.
Not enured to the nuances of politics, SBG was perceived to be grappling on how to deal with the situation. He advanced some hints to personal friends about how troubled he has been. He confessed that his heart and mind were resisting and that his family was against his presidential bid.
Then finally last Tuesday, after days of agony, he made the most difficult decision in his life - quit from the Presidential race.
‘’In the past few days, I realized that my heart and my mind are contradicting my action. Talagang nagre-resist po ang aking katawan, puso at isipan. Tao lang po ako na nasasaktan at napapagod (My mind, heart, and body are resisting. I am only human who gets hurt and tired),”
“Ayoko rin pong lalong maipit si Pangulong Duterte higit pa po sa tatay ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. Matanda na po siya at marami na rin siyang naibigay para sa bayan, ayaw ko na pong dagdagan pa ang kanyang problema (I don’t want President Duterte to be caught in the middle because I regard him more than a father. He is already old and he has done so much for the country, I don’t want to add to his problems),” he was quoted as saying.
There are certain dynamics that even make it difficult for the Davao Senator to navigate his political plans. Inday Sara is running in tandem with Bongbong Marcos. Factor in President Duterte in the equation and Bong Go is in a situation where running for President will place him in the middle of a political storm.
For us Davao journalists who have seen Bong Go up close, we saw the innate humility and genuine character of the senator when he made the decision to withdraw. As UP Prof. Clarita Carlos had said of his act, I too say “Saludo”.