By Ellson Quismorio
The “Bong Go for senator movement” has no shortage of backers in the House of Representatives.
Several administration congressmen recently came out with statements of support for the possible Senate run of Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go in the May 2019 mid-term elections.
“I will support Bong Go if he runs for senator being a member of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and he is very much qualified to run,” said Rep.Johnny Pimentel (second district, Surigao del Sur), chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability.
Pimentel is himself a stalwart of PDP-Laban, which is the party that carried then-Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency.
Another member of the ruling party, House committee on Metro Manila development chairman Winston Castelo (second district, Quezon City) called Go “an asset to the legislative agenda of the President.”
“We saw recently that an out-of-the-box candidate possesses the right qualification for being a winner. He has no pretensions and no personal agenda but to serve as a voice of the people, something that he has been doing with success as well one of the President’s trusted men,” Castelo said.
Go, who completed his business management course at De La Salle University, started working as Duterte’s close-in aide in 1998, when the latter was congressman of Davao City’s first district.
‘Anino to alter-ego’
During the campaign period leading to the May 2016 presidential polls, Go was branded by media as Duterte’s “anino” (shadow) since he was always seen at the side of the future Chief Executive.
Now this shadow could very well become the “alter ego” of the President at the Senate, should he win in next year’s race, according to Rep. LRay Villafuerte (second district, Camarines Sur).
“We need men like Bong Go who will help shepherd President Duterte’s high–and inclusive–growth agenda in the Congress,” said Villafuerte, a vice chairman of the appropriations committee.
“As President Duterte’s close-in aide for two decades, Bong Go has embraced as his own the President’s vision of transforming our country into a high-income economy in which all Filipinos get to enjoy the benefits of equitable growth. Bong Go likewise shares the President’s passion and dedication to effect genuine positive change in our society,” the Bicolano further said.
Castelo agreed with Villafuerte’s branding of Go as Duterte’s potential Senate alter-ego, saying “that’s very correct.”
Rep. Karlo Nograles (first district, Davao City, PDP-Laban)), who himself is a presumptive part of the administration’s 2019 senatorial slate, said Go “possesses the traits, the values and the tremendous humility that we usually miss from people in high places.”
Nograles, appropriations panel chairman, added: “I fully support the entry of SAP Bong Go to the senatorial derby. To us Dabawenyos who know him well, we know that SAP Bong Go will definitely be an asset to the Senate and to the nation. He is certain to bring to the Senate the vast experience that he earned serving the people of Davao City and now as he serves the entire country