Bong Go on running for president: 'I need to step up for the Duterte administration'

Published November 14, 2021, 8:42 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said he felt the need to step up for the Duterte administration that is why he decided to run as the standard-bearer for the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) in the May 2022 elections.

“Wala na pong standard bearer ang ating administration (The administration no longer has a standard bearer). Sabi ko (I said), I accepted the challenge. Kung kailangan ko pong mag-step up, alang-alang sa administrasyon at para lang po maipagpatuloy ‘yung pagbabagong inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte ay gagawin ko (If I need to step up for the sake of the administration and to continue the reforms initiated by President Duterte I will do it),” Go said in an interview after he filed his candidacy at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday, Nov. 13.

In a sudden turn of events, Go substituted for Grepo Belgica, the PDDS’s presidential candidate, explaining that the PDP-Laban is in coalition with PDDS. Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, the PDP-Laban-Cusi faction’s presidential candidate also withdrew his presidential bid.

The Dela Rosa-Go tandem is backed by the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi faction and is supported by President Rodrigo Duterte.

But after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) to run for vice president in the upcoming polls under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Go proceeded to the Comelec to withdraw his candidacy for vice president and filed for substitution, accompanied by the President.

“Kailangan ko pong (umangat) para sa mga kapartido ko at sa sambayanang Pilipino, lalung-lalo na kay Pangulong Duterte. Kailangan ko pong bumangon para sa kanila (I need to step up for my party and for the Filipino people, especially for President Duterte. I need to rise up for them),” Go said.

“I need to save the legacy, save the party, save the Filipino people. Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang pagbabago. Tuloy ang malasakit at tuloy ang serbisyo. Ayaw naming masaktan si Tatay Digong, dahil ayaw naming masaktan ang mga tatay natin na nagbigay ng buhay sa atin (I need to continue the changes. We will continue our service. We don’t want to hurt our President because we don’t want our father who gave life to us be hurt),” he added.

“The Filipino people should eventually be the winner in this election. While we head towards that, I have to consider the stand of my political party, led by President Duterte, which will both help us achieve our objectives,” Go reiterated.

Melvin Matibag, PDP-Laban’s secretary general, said Go filed his candidacy under PDDS since the leadership issue within the ruling political party has yet to be resolved by the Comelec.

Nevertheless, he said PDP-Laban and PDDS are united in carryong one team for both its national and local candidates.

“The Alliance of PDP Laban and PDDS is strong and will work tirelessly to push for continuity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s brand of leadership, which includes a tough stance against criminals, grafters, drug lords, and terrorists, on the one hand, and a genuine concern for the masses, on the other,” Matibag said in a statement.