Bong Go gets Duterte’s go-ahead for a Senate run; backers launch ‘campaign’

March 14, 2018 - 4:58 PM
Special Assistant to the President Bong Go chats with DND chief Delfin Lorenzana at a Senate hearing in this February 2018 file photo. PRIB PHOTO BY ALBERT CALVELO

MANILA – Three members of the Duterte Cabinet will likely join the administration’s senatorial ticket in 2019, with his closest aide, Secretary Christopher “Bong” Go, getting solid presidential clearance for it.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that at a meeting in Malacañang Palace Tuesday night, Duterte declared his support for the Special Assistant to the President, known to enjoy his trust after two decades of working together.

“i will support Bong Go to the hilt,” Andanar quoted Duterte saying. Despite the declared support, it’s still up to Go to make a final decision on whether he wants to make a go for the Senate, said Andanar.

Besides Go, there is a possibility that Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and political adviser Francis Tolentino might join the administration ticket.

All this will depend also on the results of surveys, though, noted Andanar, early survey results show a warm reception for some of the names floated in the administraion camp. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to find out what will be the outcome of the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia surveys in the next few months.

In Andanar’s view, if Go pushes through with a Senate run, he could land in the first to third slot.

On Wednesday morning, supporters of Go launched the “Ready to Go” campaign in Manila, where Go’s friends, several Cabinet members and about 30 congressmen sounded a call to draft the President’s top aide.

If Go makes it to the Senate, Palace officials are confident that the set-up he had laid down in Malacañang will ensure that operations at the Palace will run smoothly when he leaves.

Meanwhile, Andanar said the decision to draft Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson will rests on the outcome of surveys. Many of her supporters have urged her to seek a Senate seat, though the controversial official – a social media influencer – has said she will run only if asked or ordered by Duterte to do so.