UPDATED OCT. 3, 2021 12:00AM

IT'S a go for the tandem of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go in the 2022 national elections, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday.

Duterte made the statement after Go filed his certificate of candidacy (CoC) to replace him as the vice presidential candidate of the ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

"That's a Sara-Go (It's a Sara-Go tandem)," the President said during an interview with his supporters after announcing his retirement from politics.

DUTERTE'S POINTMAN President Rodrigo Duterte raises the hand of Sen. Christopher Lawrence 'Bong' Go after he files his certificate of candidacy for vice president at the Harbor Tent Garden of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza on Oct 2, 2021. Duterte was initially the vice presidential candidate of the group of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi under the PDP-Laban and Go, the presidential bet. Duterte, however, announced that he was retiring from politics, paving the way for a possible presidential run by his daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.   PHOTO BY ENRIQUE AGCAOILI
DUTERTE'S POINTMAN President Rodrigo Duterte raises the hand of Sen. Christopher Lawrence 'Bong' Go after he files his certificate of candidacy for vice president at the Harbor Tent Garden of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza on Oct 2, 2021. Duterte was initially the vice presidential candidate of the group of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi under the PDP-Laban and Go, the presidential bet. Duterte, however, announced that he was retiring from politics, paving the way for a possible presidential run by his daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. PHOTO BY ENRIQUE AGCAOILI

The President confirmed that Duterte-Carpio will pursue the presidency next year but does not know when the mayor will file her CoC.

"Actually, we haven't talked about politics ever since. Ever since, we never talked about politics. I would say that I did that for the better," Duterte said.

Asked about the possible alliance between the PDP-Laban and Duterte-Carpio's party, the President said, "I really do not know. There are many alliances. I really cannot [tell]. I do not have an accurate count." Earlier in the day, the Davao City mayor filed her CoC for reelection in the 2022 polls.

In a Facebook post, Duterte-Carpio, a frontrunner in most pre-election surveys, shared photos of her filing her CoC.

"I have been honored with the gift of trust and respect of many of our fellow Filipinos. Thank you to everyone who has expressed their support. Many of you do not know me and yet you carry me over your shoulders," Duterte-Carpio said.

"Like the other millions of Filipinos, I share with you the same goal of living a peaceful and prosperous life in our country, today and in the many years to come. I call on everyone to work together for an honest, orderly, and credible election in May 2022," she added.

Various groups have been prodding Duterte-Carpio to run for president, but the mayor said that she will not be running for the higher position, following her father's bid for the second higher post.

The 76-year-old Duterte, whose six-year term will end in 2022, on Saturday announced his retirement from politics.

"In obedience to the will of the people, I now say to my countrymen, I will follow what you want. Today, I announce my retirement from politics," he said.

Meanwhile, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the Chief Executive "would spend the remainder of his term guiding the country towards post-Covid-19 recovery."

"President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has clearly spoken: He will no longer aspire for the second highest post in the land, bowing to the will of the people, as reflected in the June 2021 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey which showed contrary opinion for PRRD's (the President's monicker) running for the vice presidency," Roque said in a statement.

"Moreover, to ensure the legacy of his programs and projects and the continuity of his reform initiatives, the President would pro-actively campaign for his candidates and make sure that the conduct of the coming 2022 elections would be free, honest, peaceful and credible," he added.

Continue Duterte's legacy

In his speech after he filed his CoC, Go said he took the challenge as PDP-Laban's vice presidential candidate after the President decided to withdraw his acceptance of nomination.

"I have decided to run as vice president in the coming elections to continue the good programs and real changes started by President Duterte — and we will try to increase them," said Go in his speech.

"First of all, our campaign against illegal drugs, corruption, and crime must be relentless. It is up to the people to judge whether their children are safer now and there is no fear because of criminals and addicts," he added.

Go also vowed to push for more livelihood opportunities in the country, ensure "faster, better, affordable" health services through the Malasakit Centers and to complete the Build, Build, Build projects for "a better and more comfortable life for all."

"I am Kuya Bong Go and my vice is to serve. I am here to continue the real change we hope for," the senator said.

Go was nominated previously as the standard bearer of the PDP-Laban but declined.

Still hopeful

Bro. Armin Luistro, 1Sambayan convenor, told a radio interview on Saturday that he remains hopeful that Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo "will go public before October 8" with her decision on whether or not to seek the presidency in the May 2022 polls.

He is also convinced that Robredo will accept 1Sambayan's endorsement.

On Friday, Robredo's camp confirmed that the vice president has transferred her voter registration from Naga City to the municipality of Magarao in Camarines Sur. However, they also clarified the transfer of voter registration does not mean she has decided to run for Camarines Sur governor instead.

Drilon turns down VP offer

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has turned down an offer from the Liberal Party (LP) to be the running mate of Robredo should she run for the presidency.

Drilon said that he would retire from politics, stressing that he has been in government long enough and that he wants to "give others a chance."

Drilon is one of the "Big 3" who are graduating in mid-2022 after two successive six-year terms in the 24-member Senate. The two others are Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd and Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto.

Sotto is seeking the vice presidency in the May 2022 national elections. He is the chairman of the Nationalist People's Coalition.

Recto, the economist in the Senate, is silent on what his political plans are.

JAVIER JOE ISMAEL, LEA DEVIO