Mere four days after filing his certificate of candidacy, veteran broadcaster and former vice president Noli de Castro has opted out of the senatorial race for the 2022 national elections.
His daughter, television executive Katherine de Castro, announced the broadcaster’s withdrawal through a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday morning.
“Kasabay ng pagdarasal sa Poong Nazareno, napag-isip-isip kong mas makatutulong ako sa pagbibigay ng boses sa ating mga kababayan sa pamamagitan ng pamamahayag,” said De Castro, who shared that there was sudden changes in his personal plans.
“Patuloy tayong magiging boses ng ating mga kababayan, lalo na sa panahong katulad nito na ang boses na iyon ay nalulunod sa ingay ng pulitika at paggamit ng kapangyarihan para sa sariling interes ng iilan,” he continued.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) confirmed later on Wednesday that it had received De Castro’s statement of withdrawal.
De Castro took his oath as a member of presidential candidate and Manila mayor Isko Moreno’s Aksyon Demokratiko last Thursday, a day before filing his certificate of candidacy for senator under the same party.
Acknowledging De Castro’s decision, Moreno said that the long-time journalist voiced a “personal reason” for opting out of the senate race and that he “respects” De Castro’s call. and that the long-time journalist is still with the political party despite the former’s departure from its senatorial slate.
“With due respect to Kabayan Noli de Castro, and I believe, and I support his decision because there is a personal reason behind it. And I am not in the liberty to tell the public to state that situation,” Moreno said.“We were informed yesterday […] Aksyon pa rin naman siya, kaya lang for personal reasons, hindi muna siya tutuloy. And we support that.”
“We respect his decision to forego his re-entry into national politics, and wish him well because we know that he will continue to have the best interests of our people, as the Pambansang Kabayan, in his heart,” Moreno also said in a separate statement.
Moreno’s Aksyon Demokratiko also dispelled all rumors of a rift within the party, as suggested by De Castro’s withdrawal and Cesar Chavez’s resignation as Moreno’s chief of staff.
De Castro’s withdrawal has also cut Moreno’s senatorial lineup down to just two senatorial aspirants, namely Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc and education entrepreneur Carl Balita.