Government officials attend a gathering in support of Secretary Bong Go’s senatorial bid in Intramuros, Manila yesterday. Edd Gumban

Duterte supports ‘Ready Set Go’
Christina Mendez, Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte will support his special assistant Christopher “Bong” Go “to the hilt” should he decide to run in next year’s senatorial elections, according to Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar.

“I will support him to the hilt,” Andanar quoted Duterte as saying when asked about Go’s Senate run.

Apart from Go, Andanar revealed that presidential adviser for political affairs and former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino and presidential spokesman Harry Roque are seen as part of the administration’s senatorial slate next year.

“Go’s appearance before the Senate showed his mettle. The people witnessed his true character as he exemplified the qualities of a good leader – someone who is true to core, upright, loyal and honest,” Andanar told journalists at Malacañang last Tuesday night.

Go confirmed Duterte’s statement in a phone-patch speech to the “Ready Set Go 2019” gathering in Intramuros, Manila yesterday that Andanar attended together with other Cabinet members. 

The special assistant to the President (SAP) also quoted Duterte as saying, “I want him to grow also.”

Go admitted that he cried because of the President’s statement.

“Bigyan nyo ako ng konting panahon (Give me a little time),” said the SAP. “Unahin nyo na lang ang mga kasamahan ko sa Gabinete. Huli na lang po ako (Please convince other Cabinet members first. Let me be the last one).”

As of now, Go said, he is focused on his job attending to requests for assistance as well as addressing grievances in his capacity as concurrent head of the Presidential Management Staff.

“Trabaho lang muna tayo (Let’s work first),” he said. “Hindi ko iiwan ang Pangulo. Hanggang sa pagtanda nya, sasamahan ko siya (I am not leaving the President. I will be by his side even when he is old).”

“Samahan natin ang Pangulo, tulungan natin siya na matupad ang mga hangarin niyang pagbabago (Let’s help the President achieve needed change),” he said.

Go described Duterte as “nagpapakamatay sa trabaho (workaholic),” citing Duterte’s visit to the wake of a police officer who was killed in an anti-illegal drugs operation even when the President was obviously exhausted from the day’s activities.

“Whether the slain officer is a (Police Officer 1) or (Police Officer 2), we will go,” Go quoted Duterte as telling him.

Go lamented that human rights officials do not make such visits. He lamented that the President is blamed each time a drug suspect is killed.

Go said he was thankful for the support of people who want him to run for senator, assuring them that he would always be their SAP. “Huwag kayong mag-aalala, magpapaiwan ako as SAP ninyo (Don’t worry, I will remain as your SAP) – senator of the Philippines or senator and assistant to the president. Kung hindi ko kapalaran, pwede n’yo naman akong maging (If I am not destined to win, I can be) super assistant of the people,” said Go. – With Edu Punay, Ghio Ong, Marvin Sy

 

Related video:

BONG GO FRANCIS TOLENTINO MARTIN ANDANAR
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