Bong Go, who served as Duterte’s top aide for more than two decades, filed his certificate of candidacy for senator yesterday, and joined the President at the Army event.
No government resources for admin bets – Duterte
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2018 - 12:00am

• Honest 2019 polls vowed

• AFP ordered to stay out of politics

MANILA, Philippines — No candidate would be allowed to use state resources during the campaign period, President Duterte said yesterday, as he ordered security forces to remain non-partisan and to work for honest elections.

“Nobody but nobody can use government resources. Not even Bong,” Duterte said, referring to former presidential aide Christopher Go by his nickname. “I will not allow it.”

At the Army change of command ceremony at Fort Bonifacio, Duterte told the troops, “Let us make a deal here. Promise – you make a commitment to the Filipino people: this election, we will all be strictly neutral. The Armed Forces, the police and the uniformed personnel of government – I am asking you not to indulge in partisan politics. We won’t support anyone.”

Go, who served as Duterte’s top aide for more than two decades, filed his certificate of candidacy for senator yesterday, and joined the President at the Army event.

While refraining from directly endorsing Go – an act that is not allowed at military camps — Duterte talked at length about his longtime assistant.

“Bong is not my aide anymore. The moment he signed the certificate of candidacy, he ceased to be a government employee,” Duterte said.

Go, who has been highly visible at government events and whose photos are emblazoned in tarpaulins and posters across the country, has been accused of using state resources to promote his own political ambition.

The former presidential aide has denied the allegation and claimed that his supporters are behind the spread and distribution of those materials. Go has urged his supporters to take down posters and tarpaulins with his image.

Duterte said a communist rebel shot Go’s grandfather in the face while the latter was playing golf.

“That will give you an idea about his (Go) sentiments. Wala akong sinasabi na magboto kayo (I am not asking you to vote for him),” he added.

As the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Duterte said he would endorse candidates because the presidency is a political position.

“But I expect everybody to respect the constitutional prohibition. It’s good, it’s good for the country, and I announced to the country now that we make a pledge: there will be an election and it will be an honest one,” the President said, referring to the constitutional provision that bars uniformed services from siding with politicians.

“I hate to talk about politics in a crowd like this. Ours is a commitment to democratic ideals. One is that the military and the uniformed police personnel should not, should not indulge in politics,” he added.

Duterte said he never entered military camps during election season when he was still mayor of Davao City. Duterte was mayor of the southern city for 23 years.

“There will never be a time that I will talk to you... I may have a very lousy mouth but you know my values are quite good. Especially when it calls for the exercise of delicadeza,” the President said. “But I value friendship. I value loyalty.”

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS
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