ANOTHER surprise move was made by Senator Christopher "Bong" Go as he filed his candidacy for president in next year's polls on Saturday, November 13, 2021, the second to the last day of the deadline for substitution of candidates.
Go, who came a few minutes before 5 p.m. Saturday, substituted Grepor Belgica as the standard-bearer of the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan.
He was personally accompanied by President Rodrigo Duterte in the Commission on Elections main office in Intramuros, Manila.
“Wala na pong standard bearer ang ating administration. Sabi ko, I accepted the challenge. Kung kailangan ko pong mag step-up, alang-alang sa (administrasyon) at para lang po maipagpatuloy 'yung pagbabagong inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte (ay gagawin ko),” Go said in an ambush interview after the filing.
“Mahal ko ang aking kapwa Pilipino, gusto ko pong magserbisyo sa kanila at pangako ko sa inyo, walang isang oras, walang minuto na masasayang, magseserbisyo ako sa inyong lahat,” he vowed.
The presidential aspirant explained that he strongly felt the need to step up to ensure the continuity of the reforms and vision of the Duterte Administration.
He vowed to serve as a bridge between the government and the Filipino people—particularly the poor, hopeless and helpless—to ensure their needs are provided for, their concerns addressed, and their voices heard.
“Kailangan ko pong (umangat) para sa mga kapartido ko at sa sambayanang Pilipino, lalung-lalo na kay Pangulong Duterte. Kailangan ko pong bumangon para sa kanila. Kailangan kong ipaglaban (to) save the legacy, save the party, save the Filipino people. Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang pagbabago. Tuloy ang malasakit at tuloy ang serbisyo,” vowed Go.
Go’s most recent decision came after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte filed her substitution papers for the vice presidency under the Lakas-CMD party.
“Mahal ko si Pangulong Duterte. Ayaw kong mayroong masaktan at sumama ang loob. Kung kailangan kong umiwas, ako po ay umiiwas alang-alang na lang kay Pangulong Duterte at sa sambayanang Pilipino,” Go explained.
The senator also promised to work hard to accomplish the President’s remaining plans for the benefit of the Filipino people after Duterte’s term ends, adding that he will build on the positive changes initiated by the Duterte Administration.
“The Filipino people should eventually be the winner in this election. While we head towards that, I have to consider the stand of my political party, led by President Duterte, which will both help us achieve our objectives,” Go believed.
He specifically reaffirmed his commitment to the President’s crusade against illegal drugs, crime and corruption.
He also pledged to push for the continuation of programs and projects that will bring about a more convenient, comfortable and prosperous life for all Filipinos.
“Ang puwede ko pong mai-offer sa kanila, ang puwede ko lang mai-offer sa Pilipino, 'yung sipag ko po at pagseserbisyo sa aking kapwa Pilipino. 'Yung totoong malasakit po, 'yun lang. Ayaw ko pong magmayabang sa inyo, 'di ko na po kailangan magmayabang sa kapwa ko Pilipino,” Go said.
“Hintayin niyo na lang po kung resulta lang po. Kung trabaho ang pag-uusapan, bagama’t tatlong taon lang po akong senador, pero iyong nakikita ko pong ginagawa ni Pangulong Duterte na sakripisyo para sa bayan, sino pong magpapatuloy? Iyon po ang ipagpapatuloy ko,” he said.
The senator also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to his and the President's supporters, especially the supporters' confidence in their ability to give the Filipino people the hope and the future that they deserve.
“Maraming salamat po sa mga supporters ko, sa mga nagpagod. Mahal na mahal ko po kayo. Hindi ko po kayo bibiguin. Magseserbisyo po ako sa inyo. Ayaw kong mangako, hindi ako pulitiko na mangangako. Hindi po ako pulitiko na mangangako rito, mangangako doon. Hintayin n’yo na lang po ang resulta ng aming pagtatrabaho ni Pangulong Duterte,” said Go.
In a separate statement, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) leadership announced that Senator Bato dela Rosa withdrew his certificate of candidacy for President under PDP-Laban to give way to Senator Bong Go’s candidacy for president under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), which supported the candidacy of Go in 2019.
As explained by PDP-Laban, Go filed his candidacy under PDDS as the leadership issue in PDP-Laban has yet to be resolved by Comelec.
“Nevertheless, PDP-Laban and PDDS are united in carrying one team for both our national and local candidates,” the statement said.
“The Alliance of PDP-Laban and PDDS is strong and will work tirelessly to push for continuity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s brand of leadership, which includes a tough stance against criminals, grafters, drug lords and terrorists, on the one hand, and a genuine concern for the masses, on the other,” it added.
According to the PDP-Laban statement, the PDP-PDDS Alliance has chosen Go as its candidate for President because the senator carries with him a wealth of experience acquired from years of mentorship under President Duterte and is best suited to ensure continuity of President Duterte’s “Tapang at Malasakit” brand of leadership.
The alliance has also said that Go is endeared by the “Pangkaraniwang Pinoy” because of his own brand of Malasakit, which caters to the poorest of the poor. Go is also expected to continue President Duterte’s “Build Build Build” program—including mass railways projects, airports and seaports, and other infrastructure projects, all ensuring convenience of mobility to the masses.
The statement also said Go is the most hardworking among all the candidates for President and lives up to his motto, “Ang BISYO ay MagSERBISYO.”