Veteran news anchor and former vice president Noli de Castro is withdrawing his candidacy for senator, Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel confirmed on Wednesday, October 13.
In a call with Rappler, Ramel said De Castro is withdrawing his certificate of candidacy for senator merely a week after filing it before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Aksyon, the party which De Castro just joined in relation to his senatorial bid, said the newsman decided he could serve Filipinos better by continuing to work in the news industry, rather than in politics.
De Castro, in a letter to Aksyon, said, "Kasabay ng pagdarasal sa Poong Nazareno, napag-isip-isip kong mas makatulong ako sa pagbibigay ng boses sa ating mga kababayan sa pamamagitan ng pamamahayag."
(Along with prayers to the Black Nazarene, I thought I would be of better help giving voice to our countrymen through working in news.)
The Comelec confirmed later on Wednesday that it had already received De Castro's statement of withdrawal.
"All statements of withdrawal for national positions received by the Law Department must comply with Comelec rules and regulations, and are still for submission to the Commission En Banc for resolution," Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said in a press release.
Aksyon president and standard-bearer Isko Moreno said the party respects De Castro's decision. The former vice president will remain a party member.
Moreno, in a Kapihan sa Manila Bay press conference on Wednesday, said De Castro gave a "personal reason" for dropping his Senate bid but said he was not at liberty to state the reason in public.
De Castro's withdrawal means one less candidate in Moreno's senatorial slate. Aside from De Castro, two are declared candidates of the slate – Mindanao civic leader Samira Gutoc and education entrepreneur Carl Balita.
It may also portend another round of anchor reshuffling in ABS-CBN. After deciding to run for senator, De Castro resigned from the network for whom he had been anchoring three programs – TV Patrol, Kabayan, and TeleRadyo Balita. – with a report from Dwight de Leon/Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.