By Philippine News Agency
MANILA — Malacañang on Tuesday said it is not surprised that former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go climbed to third spot in the latest Pulse Asia senatorial survey.
“Given the fact that he is very visible, I am not surprised why he is within the top 3. He’s very visible and as we know in this election and for that matter, previous elections, awareness is number one consideration,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a briefing.
Panelo cited the importance of visibility for a candidate’s winning chances.
“He may be very good, but if the people are not aware of your name my goodness, wala rin (it will turn out as nothing),” he said.
Panelo also attributed President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s endorsement to Go’s surge from 6th to 12th in January to 3rd to 4th place in the Pulse Asia survey conducted on Feb. 24-28 but was released only last Monday.
“Very strong ang endorsement niya (President Duterte’s endorsement is very strong). Apart from that, you must remember that for the last three years Bong Go has been very, very visible, print, media, television. You always see him when you see the President he is there, either he is beside him, he is talking to him or at the background. In all events, he is always there. So the awareness is, very high,” he said.
Panelo, also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, believed that Go is compliant with election laws.
“I don’t think Bong Go will be violating any election offense,” he said.
Panelo said those who accused Go of vote buying when he allegedly distributed cash assistance to victims of a certain fire incident last week should just file a case.
“Why don’t they file if that is what they believe in? You know I looked at the provision, baka mahirapan eh (they might have a hard time proving their case). Kasi (Because) what it says there is ‘that will induce the voter to be influenced by what he give.’ Eh mukhang iba ang situation dito kay (The situation is different here with) Bong Go sapagka’t (because) these are donations and they are fire victims. Pangalawa (Second), I read also na (that) it was not even him who gave the so-called ‘cash donation’,” he said.
With 53 percent, Go is tied with reelectionist Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, who earned 52.2 percent for the 3rd to 5th spot.
Pulse Asia’s survey showed that Go is on a definite upward trajectory, less than two months before the May 13 mid-term elections.