Bong Go says Duterte was just joking, no plans to run as president in 2022
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Bong Go has downplayed President Rodrigo Duterte’s statements about him planing to run as president in the 2022 elections, saying that Duterte was merely joking.
Go clarified on Thursday that he does not have any ambition to become president — although it was the same case in 2018 when Duterte also teased him about having aspirations to be a senator, which Go vehemently denied.
Prior to becoming a senator, Go was Duterte’s longtime aide from the latter’s days as Davao City mayor up to his presidency.
“Alam niyo naman na mapagbiro ang ating Pangulo. But allow me to clarify, I have no plans of running for President. Hindi ko po inaambisyon iyan. Masaya na po ako na nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon na magserbisyo sa kapwa kong Pilipino,” Go said in a statement.
(You know, the President was just joking. But allow me to clarify, I have no plans of running for President. That is not my ambition. I am happy that I have been given the chance to serve my fellow Filipino.)
“Binigay na rin sa akin ng Panginoon ang maging senador kaya ibabalik ko sa tao ang serbisyong para sa kanila. Pangako ko sa mga tao na kahit saang sulok ng Pilipinas, basta kaya lang ng oras at katawan ko, pupuntahan ko kayo para mapakinggan ang inyong hinaing at mabigyan ng pansin ang inyong mga pangangailangan,” he added.
(God has given me the chance to be a senator that is why I would give back to the people the service they deserve. My promise is that wherever they are in the Philippines, as long as I have the time and my health wills it, I would be visiting you just to hear your concerns and to attend to your needs.)
In a speech on Thursday, Duterte jokingly said that Go’s intentions about the presidency were apparent as he frequently visits fire victims, being the first to respond. The President even teased Go about supposedly igniting fires because he knows the situation better than firefighters.
“Halata man masyado. Nauuna kapa sa… eh wala pang sunog nandun ka, nandun kana eh. Ikaw ata tiga-sindi. Nauna kapa dun sa bumbero. ‘Wag mo masyadong sobrahan baka mahalata,” Duterte said.
(It’s pretty obvious. You’re ahead of the… you’re already there even if there’s no fire yet. Maybe you’re the one igniting it. You arrive way before firefighters. Don’t do it too much or they might notice it.)
When Go was still Duterte’s aid last June 2018, he clarified that he has no intentions of running for the Senate in the 2019 midterm elections, and that his body of work merely stems from a desire to serve people.
However, on October 15, 2018, a tearful Go emerged from the San Miguel Church in Malacañang announcing that he was running for senator, under Duterte’s party PDP-Laban. He eventually filed his certificate of candidacy, and was accompanied by the President himself.
In terms of the 2022 elections, Go said that he is volunteering himself as the campaign manager of the presidential candidate that will be selected by Duterte.
“Ayaw ko pa po pag-usapan ang pulitika, mas gusto kong unahin ang pagseserbisyo. Pero kung tatanungin ninyo ako tungkol sa 2022 elections, I am willing to volunteer as campaign manager sa kung sinuman ang makakapagpatuloy ng pagbabago na inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte,” he added.
(I don’t want to talk about politics, I want to prioritize and servicing people. But if you were to ask me about the 2022 elections, I am willing to volunteer as a campaign manager for anyone who can continue the changes that President Duterte initiated.)
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