Duterte bares Bong Go’s presidential dream but senator says it’s a joke
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said his former long-time aide and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has dreams of becoming president.
Duterte made the announcement during a speech at the groundbreaking ceremonies of the new Port Operations Building in the Port of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental.
He said Go had asked him to make the announcement.
“Itong si Senator Bong Go, pababa kami ng eroplano, sabi niya, ‘sir may hihingin sana ako sayo na pabor. Sabi niya ‘medyo it leaves a bad taste in the mouth kasi malayo pa, pero ikaw na lang ang magsabi sa kanila,” Duterte said.
(Senator Bong Go, when we are alighting from the plane, he said to me, ’Sir, I would like to ask a favor from you. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth because it’s still far but you should make the announcement.)
“Ang totoo talaga, isang bagay lang, sabihin daw sa inyo na gusto niya maging presidente,” he added.
(The truth is, one thing only, he said I should tell you that he wants to be president.)
On Friday last week, President Duterte lavished praise on the senator, even describing him as “president.”
In February, Go said he has no presidential ambition. However, it was the same case in 2018 when Duterte also teased him about having aspirations to be a senator, which Go vehemently denied.
‘Count me out’
When asked about Duterte’s latest pronouncement, Go downplayed the president’s remarks, saying it was just a casual joke.
“I am very grateful for the trust given to me by the President. Salamat po sa tiwala pero alam naman po ng Pangulo na hindi talaga ako interesado. Biro lang ng Pangulo iyon,” he said in a message to INQUIRER.net when sought for comment.
“Please count me out sa usaping pulitika sa 2022,” he added.
Nevertheless, he said he would probably change his mind if Duterte decides to run for vice president in the 2022 polls.
“Magbabago lang siguro ang isip ko kung tatakbong Vice President si Pangulong Duterte,” the senator said.
(Maybe I will change my mind if President Duterte runs for Vice President.)
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