WHILE everybody on Tuesday, February 20, was focused on the selfie initiated by Special Assistant to the President Bong Go with President Rodrigo Duterte's arch-critic and basher Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Senator Miguel Zubiri after the Senate hearing on Go's alleged meddling in the Navy Frigate deal, what grabbed the public's collective eye soon after were the rubber bands Go was wearing around his right wrist.
Why was he wearing rubber bands? Netizens were abuzz.
It's to flick at Trillanes' mouth for the accusations the senator leveled at Duterte, many were saying. It's to use to bundle peso bills, others said.
The wrist with the rubber bands were visible around the long-sleeved barong's cuff while Go was taking the selfie.
But clearer photos were shared on social media by Presidential Photographer Division lensman Robinson "Cado" Ninal of the three pieces of light brown rubber bands, the ones used to temporarily seal folders with. Ninal, however, said he was not the one who took the photo and that this was just shared to him as well. No one could point to the person who took it.
PPD head King Rodriguez has the answer on why Go was wearing these.
"Sa food pack niya 'yun. Same sila mannerism ni PRRD (Duterte)," Rodriguez said through Messenger.
It's a habit Go shares with President Duterte, Rodriguez said. When offered food pack sealed with rubber bands, they just remove the rubber band and wear these just in case they would need the rubber bands later for anything.
Rodriguez, former SunStar Davao photographer who now heads the division, has been accompanying the President along with Go since the campaign period in 2015 and thus have observed some of their mannerisms; the wearing of rubber bands for recycling, included.
The rubber bands were very visible as Go used his right hand to gesture while denying the allegations thrown at him by Rappler and Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Ninal's caption for the two photos read: Sec.GO Ang uban na naka barong parisan jud mamahalin na bracelet imo kay tag tulo dyes sa bankeruhan, lastiko (Secretary Go, others in Barong Tagalog pair this with expensive bracelets. You wear rubber bands instead that just costs three for P10 in Bankerohan Public Market)."
Go earned praises for this unassuming habit, while majority were jeering at Trillanes saying the rubber bands were for flicking at the senator.
As of 6 p.m. last night, Ninal's post already had 1,052 shares and 97 comments.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on February 21, 2018.
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