Duterte publicly endorses Bong Go as presidential bet

Published November 18, 2021, 10:23 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

President Duterte has publicly endorsed for the first time Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go as his presidential bet for next year’s elections.

Senator Bong Go (standing) and President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang photo)

Duterte made the pronouncement on Thursday night, Nov. 18, during the joint National Task Force-Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Conflict (NTF-RTF ELCAC) Mimaropa meeting in Oriental Mindoro, where he was the guest of honor.

“I am not into politicking, but let me just state for the record and in no uncertain terms that ang kandidato ko pagka-presidente ay si (my candidate for the presidency is) Bong Go,” Duterte said to much applause from the audience.

Go is the longtime aide and friend of Duterte. “You know, Bong Go has been my aide for 23 years,” said the latter, who spent over two decades as Davao City mayor.

Duterte had reportedly endorsed Go for president, and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for vice president, during a meeting with lawmakers in Malacañang on Tuesday night. This was neither confirmed nor denied by Palace officials.

But the Chief Executive’s statement during the anti-communist meeting was as categorical as can be, at least as far as Go is concerned.

“He offered to be the temporary aide-de-camp tapos (and then) — that was many years ago. Kaya hanggang nagpermanente siya (Up until he became the) chief of staff of the office and became a senator. So ‘yan ang istorya ni Bong Go (So that’s the story of Bong Go),” Duterte said.

Going on full ad lib mode in his speech, Duterte described his senator-pal as a bright person who can compute mathematical equations in his head.

“You know, one thing ang sabi ko sa inyo, itong Bong na ito, magkuwenta ng whatever, magkuwenta ng pera o percentage or — gagamitin lang ito, hindi ito nagsusulat. Ganoon kahusay ito sa… Well, bright tapos always wala… Anong buhay niya, basketball (one thing I can tell you is that this person Bong, he can compute whatever, be it money or percentages–he doesn’t need to write it down. That’s how good he is…Well, he’s bright and then…his life revolves around basketball)” Duterte said, revealing one of Go’s hobbies.