Bong Go files bid for Senate

MONTHS after playing coy, Special Assistant to the Presidemt Christopher Lawrence Go on Monday, October 15, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2019 senatorial race.

President Rodrigo Duterte accompanied his most trusted aide to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) head office in Intramuros, Manila as the latter filed his COC.

Go is running under the banner of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

On Sunday night, Duterte playfully referred to Go as "Senator Go" in his speech during the launching of "Prosper Thy Neighbor", a book by former President Fidel V. Ramos.

Go confirmed that he would seek a Senate seat about two hours before he went to the Comelec office.

Amid a thunderstorm, Go went to San Miguel Church in Malacañang compound to ask for God's guidance.

"This is my first time po na sasabak sa eleksyon. Kinakabahan po ako. Nalulungkot din po ako, (This is my first time to join the election. I'm nervous and sad)," a teary-eyed Go told reporters after praying.

"Malalayo po ako sa Pangulo pero sisikapin ko po in my private capacity na tutulong pa rin ako sa kanya at nasa tabi pa rin po niya ako (I will now be away with the President but I will try, in my private capacity, to help him and stay beside him)," he added.

Go said he had a talk with the President before he filed his COC.

"Siya po ang inspirasyon ko sa pag-silbi sa ating mga kapatid na Filipino. So sa kanya po ang final say and final decision sa aking pagtakbo, (He's my inspiration when it comes to serving our Filipino brothers and sisters. So he has the final say and final decision on my Senate bid)," he said.

After he filed his COC, Go told reporters that he aims to emulate the President in his aim to serve the people.

“Like my mentor, I would like to serve the people. Like the President, I would like to put the nation and the people first,” said Go.

In particular, Go said he will look to enhance the fight against corruption, against crime and criminality, and against illegal drugs.

“I believe there is a need for Tapang at Malasakit in the Senate,” said Go, referring to the campaign slogan of Duterte in the 2016 presidential race.

He also said he would focus on improving medical services and supporting the Duterte government's advocacies.

Go admitted that he is a neophyte political candidate, but he was optimistic that he would earn the public's support.

"Mahirap maging kandidato, lalo na po't baguhan ako. I will be pitted against seasoned senators and politicians. Anyway, 12 naman po iyan. Hayaan na lang po natin ang mga Pilipino kung sino ang kanilang ilagay at sa tingin nila makakatulong po," Go said.

(It's a challenge to be a candidate, especially since I'm a neophyte. I will be pitted against seasoned senators and politicians. Anyway, there are 12 seats. Let the Filipinos decide on electing those who they think can help them.)

"I'm praying. Sana po makapasok po ako. Sino ba namang kandidato ang ayaw manalo? Ang akin lang naman ay gusto ko pong patuloy na makapagsilbi at ituloy ang pagbabagong inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte," he added.

(I'm praying. Who among the candidates are not interested to win? I merely want to continue serving the public and continue the changes made by President Duterte.)

Early this year, Duterte revealed in his impromptu speeches that his closest aide planned to run for senator.

Go is considered as Duterte's most trusted aide, having served as the long-time executive assistant of the then-Davao City mayor.

Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on October 11 said Go is included in the senatorial slate of the ruling PDP-Laban.

Aside from Duterte, other government officials who accompanied Go at the Comelec were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, and PACC spokesman Greco Belgica. (With HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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