Palace denies Bong Go was given ‘special treatment’ in filing COC
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) didn’t favor former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go when he filed his candidacy for senator, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Tuesday.
Panelo issued the remark after the Comelec breached its own rule when Go filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) on Monday with a delegation that included President Rodrigo Duterte, former and current Cabinet members, presidential security personnel, and some of his supporters.
Comelec set the limit of the number of persons accompanying a candidate in filing his or her candidacy to only four companions.
Panelo insisted that Comelec just failed to anticipate the attendance of the President in Go’s entourage, making its security personnel unprepared for crowd control.
“Hindi naman pinaburan. Siguro ang nangyari doon ‘di nila [Comelec] na-anticipate na darating ang Presidente kaya ‘yung security nila nagulat,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
(He wasn’t favored. What may have happened is Comelec didn’t anticipate that the President was coming so their security was taken by surprise.)
“Kasi ang nagpunta naman doon si Presidente, tatlong Cabinet members so pasok doon sa apat. Ang problema maraming sumama e hindi nila naanticipate yo’n, natural mahihirapan sila,” he added.
(The ones who accompanied Go were the President and three Cabinet members so it was within the limit. The problem was a lot of other people came along and they didn’t anticipate it, so naturally they had a difficult time.)
Go was accompanied by President Rodrigo Duterte as well as Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, presidential security personnel, and his supporters in the COC filing area.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez earlier admitted that they gave special treatment to Go inside the Comelec premises.
“To the extent that special allowances had to be made, and considering the personalities involved, yes,” Jimenez told reporters in Comelec after Go filed his COC. /je
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