By Jenny Ortuoste
Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go issued a clarification Thursday night on President Duterte’s jest that Go has presidential ambitions, saying he has no such plans.
“Alam niyo naman na mapagbiro ang ating Pangulo (You know our President loves to joke),” he said in a statement.
“But allow me to clarify, I have no plans of running for President. Hindi ko po inaambisyon iyan. Masaya na po ako na nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon na magserbisyo sa kapwa kong Pilipino.”
(I have no such ambitions. I’m just happy that I was given the opportunity to serve my fellow Filipinos.)
Go was reacting to a joke Duterte made Thursday evening in his speech at the oath-taking of newly-appointed government officials in Malacañang.
Duterte teased Go, saying the senator had a penchant for visiting fire victims all over the country, and said this pointed to the latter’s future political plans.
“Maybe he wants to be president,” Duterte jested.
Go, who was Duterte’s personal aide for over two decades, starting from when the latter was Davao City mayor, won the senatorial election in 2019.
“Binigay na rin sa akin ng Panginoon ang maging senador kaya ibabalik ko sa tao ang serbisyong para sa kanila. (The Lord gave it to me to become a senator, so I am giving back to the people the service that is theirs.)
Go said he is in government to serve, and that politics is not his focus. He added that he is willing to be involved in the 2022 elections — in a support capacity.
“Ayaw ko pa po pag-usapan ang pulitika, mas gusto kong unahin ang pagseserbisyo. Pero kung tatanungin ninyo ako tungkol sa 2022 elections, I am willing to volunteer as campaign manager sa kung sinuman ang makakapagpatuloy ng pagbabago na inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte,” he said.
(I don’t want to talk about politics, I only want to put service first. But if you ask me about the 2022 elections, I am willing to volunteer as campaign manager for anyone who will continue the changes begun by President Duterte.)
Go reiterated that his purpose in government is to be of service.
“Pangako ko sa mga tao na kahit saang sulok ng Pilipinas, basta kaya lang ng oras at katawan ko, pupuntahan ko kayo para mapakinggan ang inyong hinaing at mabigyan ng pansin ang inyong mga pangangailangan,” Go said.
(I promise the people wherever they may be in the Philippines, that as long as I have time and am physically able: I will go to you to hear your grievances and give attention to your needs.)