Alvarez to prod Bong Go to run for senator
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Thursday that he would persuade Special Assistant to the President Sec. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to join the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) senatorial slate for the 2019 polls.
Alvarez, in a speech during the oath-taking of new PDP-Laban members in Negros Oriental, said he wanted Go to join the ruling party’s slate to represent Mindanao even though the aide had already thumbed down such possibility.
“I’d like to convince someone to run for senator. I’d like to convince Christopher Lawrence Go—do you know him? No?” Alvarez said in his speech during the oath-taking of new PDP-Laban members in Negros Oriental.
Go had already said that he was not interested for any position in the government because he is committed to serving President Rodrigo Duterte “’til kingdom come.”
“I have dedicated my life to serving PRRD (Duterte) and I am committed to stand beside him ’til kingdom come,” he said in a statement last week.
Duterte urged Go to attend the Senate investigation on the Philippine Navy’s P15.7-billion frigate deal, saying it would be his aide’s “golden opportunity” to become a senator.
Go has been accused of intervening in the Navy’s selection of the weapons system supplier but the aide had denied this and said he was open for a probe to take place.
He has been the President’s assistant since 1998.
Alvarez also said that among those being groomed as senatorial candidates are Oriental Mindoro 2nd District Rep. Reynaldo Umali, Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Sajid Mangudadatu, and Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez.
“It has been too long since we had a Muslim senator,” Alvarez said, referring to Mangudadatu.
Umali heads the House committee on justice, which is hearing the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s impeachment proceedings.
Benitez, on the other hand, is the third richest at the House of Representatives with P942.9-million net worth as of December 2016. He is one of the founders of gaming company, Leisure and Resorts World Corp.
As early as last year, Alvarez had already listed his nominees to PDP-Laban senatorial ticket. It includes Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, and Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles.
Alvarez also mentioned Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman and former Metro Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino.
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