Duterte-Go relationship, how it all started

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte today opened up about the ‘origin story’ of his most trusted aide, Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go during his press briefing in Malacanang.

“Ang istorya niyan, my original aide de camp was a military man. This was when I was a mayor. While they were playing basketball, yung aide ko, na-stroke, namatay.

Doon sa hospital nag-abot kami (ni Bong Go). He offered, ‘kung gusto mo mayor, ako na lang muna, for the mean time.’”

But, Duterte added, he was already close to Go’s family through the latter’s grandfather.

“Yung kabarkada ko, lolo niya. ‘Yung may-ari ng Tesoro printing. That’s the biggest printing company in Davao,” Duterte said.

(He has been a faithful assistant. The story here is that when I was a mayor, my original aide de camp was a military man. While they were playing basketball, my aide had a stroke and died. In the hospital, we (Bong Go and I) met each other. He offered, ‘If you want, mayor, I can be your aide for the meantime.’ But I was already a close friend of his grandfather – the one who owns the Tesoro printing. That’s the biggest printing company in Davao.)

During the same press briefing, President Duterte said that Go should run in the 2019 senate race, adding that he will be a “friend” in the senate.

“You’ll have a friend there sa senate, makakabiruan ninyo. Miski yung biscuit at pangkape, mayroon siya sa opisina,” President Duterte said.

(You will have a friend there in senate, someone to joke around. Even if it’s just biscuits and coffee, he will have it for you in his office.)

For his part, whenever Go is asked about his plans for 2019, he has been consistent in saying that it is only President Duterte who can make him decide to run.

“Unang-una kailangan ko pa mag-dasal. Pangalawa, syempre ang desisyon po ng ating Pangulo,” Go said in a recent radio interview.

(First, I have to pray. Second, we have to wait for the decision of the president.)

But if you ask the President, he believes it is a forgone conclusion. “I think Bong is running. Anything can happen, but I believe that he is really running.”

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