DUTERTE AND GO IN HONG KONG. While dining, President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go invited Alma O. Pardillo, an overseas Filipino worker based in Hong Kong, to break bread with them while hearing the latter’s concerns. The President then vowed to provide Pardillo assistance so she could get proper medical attention for her 9-year old child who is suffering from a lung ailment. The President also committed to shoulder the roundtrip airfare of Pardillo so she can go home to attend the college graduation of her child and to be with her children whom she has not seen for a long time. (Toto Lozano/Presidential Photo)
Filipinos in Hong Kong are elated by the senatorial bid of Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go in the 2019 mid-term elections.
Loud cheers met Go as he was introduced by President Rodrigo R. Duterte during a reception from the Filipino community in the colony on April 12.
Duterte visited Hong Kong after his participation at the 3-day Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan, China.
With Duterte was his entourage including long-time aide SAP Go, who has been urged to run for senator by no less than his boss.
“Our favorite senator Bong Go,” Duterte said as he introduced Go during the meeting with about 2,500 Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in event in Kowloon.
Go’s name drew the loudest applause, boosting the clamor for him to run as one of the administration’s senatorial bets in the 2019 mid-term elections.
When the Senate summoned Go to explain his alleged intervention in the PHP18-billion Navy frigate project two months ago, Duterte found it an opportunity for Go not only to prove his innocence, but to try his “ticket” in the world of politics.
CROWD-DRAWER. President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio are swarmed by supporters during the President’s meeting with the Filipino community at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong on April 12, 2018. (Arcel Valderrama/Presidential Photo)
“I told him, first he was about unsettling. I said, ‘Bong, this is gonna be your ticket to being senator.’ I’ve been into politics for so long. Once you harass a person and that person is really very good in the eyes of the public perception, you’re just making him hero,” the President said.
Duterte described Go as very shy and a humble person, traits that would catapult his top assistant to the Senate.
“Without campaigning, he became senator Bong Go. He is now already being called senator. He has a lot of fans now,” he said.
“You know, even (if) it would be realized or not, life is really very funny. Of course, the presidency, it’s a God-given gift. My presidency is (a) God-given gift. It really came from God,” he added.
Just like him, Duterte said Go if of Chinese descent with both of them tracing their roots to their Chinese grandfathers.
“If the people of Hong Kong will vote, he will surely win,” the President said in jest.
Before joining Duterte’s entourage, Go held a separate meeting with members of the Filipino community in Hong Kong.
In his speech, Go called on OFWs to support the programs of the Duterte administration.
“I ask all of you to help the President and the government as we implement our agenda to fight illegal drugs, crime and corruption and bring about meaningful and lasting transformation on our society,” Go said in a gathering of more than 200 Filipinos.
He said the government is always prepared to assist Filipinos working abroad.
The gathering was organized by Myrna Padilla, founder of the Mindanao Hong Kong Workers Federation, including other supporters of Duterte and Go.
The supporters have encouraged Go to run for senator in next year’s mid-term elections.
Despite the growing clamor for him to run for senator, Go remains noncommittal whether to throw his hat into the political arena.
Aside from Go, the names of Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and his political adviser Francis Tolentino have also been mentioned by the President as possible senatorial wannabes.
All of them received cheers from the receptive crowd but Go got the loudest applause. (PNA)