Former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) and aspiring senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go turned emotional when he said that President Duterte is the father figure in his life.
“Nakita ko kay Pangulong Duterte ang isang tunay na ama (na) talagang nagmamahal, di lang sa akin kung hindi sa (lahat ng) Pilipino. Siya talaga ang inyong tunay na Tatay Digong na nagmamahal sa kanyang kapwa tao,” Go stated. (I saw in him a true father who loves not just me but all Filipinos. He is the true father Digong who loves his fellowmen.)
Go revealed the reason for his affinity with the President following the successful airing of the special Maalala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode that featured his life story and the role former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte played in it.
The Maalala Mo Kaya biographical episode which aired on Saturday evening featured the talents of Joseph Marco, who played the role of Bong Go; Meg Imperial, who played Go’s wife, Emmylou; and Phillip Salvador, who played the role of Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
On Sunday, Go attended an event at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel organized by leaders of the Calabarzon Region who proclaimed him as the adopted son of the region and declared their full support for Go’s senatorial candidacy in the 2019 midterm elections.
Humbled and honored at the show of support by the leaders of the Calabarzon Region, Go said: “Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong mga assurances, tulong, at inyong mga commitments,” Go stated. (Thank you so much for your assurances, help, and commitments.)
Go did not forget to highlight the role played by President Duterte in helping him develop to become a leader and public servant.
“Ipinagbilin niya sa akin ito: sabi niya, ‘Di ka magkakamali, Bong: gawin mo lahat para sa Pilipino. Serve the Filipino first, hindi ka magkamamali,” Go narrated. (This was what he told me: You won’t go wrong if you do everything for the good of the Filipino.)
Go said the Maalala Mo Kaya not only depicted scenes based on actual events but also showed numerous truths regarding the life that he leads.
“Totoo po ‘yung nakita niyo, nasaksihan ninyo na talagang wala ka nang panahon sa anak mo at sa pamilya mo ‘pag nasa trabaho ka tulad ng ganito,” Go said. (It’s true that in public service, you barely have time for your children, your family.)
Go also admitted that he had to make sacrifices in his personal life in order to do the work that needs to be done.
“Minsan po, hindi ko na po nagagampanan ‘yung duties ko bilang ama, bilang asawa,” Go confessed. (Sometimes, I fail in my roles as father and husband.)
“Subalit, di po ako nagsisisi kasi ‘yung ginagawa namin ng Pangulong Duterte noong mga panahon na ‘yun (sa Davao City) ay talagang trabaho para sa kabutihan ng kapwa tao,” said Go, when describing the years in Davao City spent working by former Mayor Duterte’s side. (But I do not regret any of it because during that time, the work that I and then Mayor Duterte did were for the benefit of our people.)
Go turned emotional when he recalled an event in his life involving steak, a dish that was heavily featured in Saturday night’s MMK episode.
“Noong nagtrabaho na ako kay Pangulong Duterte, noong kumain kami ng steak, nakita ko (at narinig ko) talaga, sabi niya, ‘Bong, kung ano ‘yung kinakain ko, ‘yun rin ang kakainin niyo.’ So, doon ko po nakita na napakabait ni (Pangulong Duterte; Go starts sobbing). Pasensya na pero totoo talaga ‘yung istoryang ‘yun.” Go recalled with tears streaming down his face. (When I started working for him, we were eating steak one day and he told me: Bong whatever I am eating, you shall eat that too. That’s when I saw how good a person he is. I am sorry (for crying) but this story is true.)
He acknowledged that in the many years that he spent working with the President, he realized that Duterte only wants the best for his fellow Filipinos.
“Sa akin po, sa totoo lang, walang ibang interes si Pangulong Duterte kung hindi kabutihan ng bawat Pilipino. Totoo ‘yan. For the past 20 years, kilalang-kilala ko si Boss,” Go declared. (For me, President Duterte has no other interest but to work for the good of every Filipino. He has done this for the past 20 years as a public servant. I know him that well.)
Go started his career in public service more than 20 years ago as the personal aide and executive assistant of then-Davao City Mayor Duterte.
During all those years, Go attended to Duterte’s personal and official matters, eventually becoming a trusted confidant and protégé of the former mayor.
Go closed his speech at the Calabarzon event with an important quote that sums up why he chooses to serve the Filipino people, hoping that others would join him in rendering service.
“I shall pass this way but once. Any good that I could do and any kindness that I could show to any human being, let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again. Ibig ko pong sabihin dito, nandirito (na) tayo sa posisyon, kayo po, (anumang) puwede nating gawin (na kabutihan para) sa kapwa tao, gawin na po natin ngayon.” (I am now in a position to do whatever good I can for the Filipino.)