President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday opened up about the “origin story” of his most trusted aide, Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go as he hinted his top aide would run in the 2019 May polls during his press briefing in Malacanang.
“He has been a faithful assistant,” the President said adding, “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 in 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, Mr. Duterte said Go should run in the 2019 Senate race, adding he would be a “friend” in the Senate.
“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,” the President said.
For his part, whenever Go is asked about his plans for 2019, he has been consistent in saying it is only President Duterte who can make him decide to run.
“First, I have to pray. Second, we have to wait for the decision of the President,” Go said in a recent radio interview.
But if you ask the President, he believes it is a foregone conclusion. “I think Bong is running. Anything can happen, but I believe that he is really running.”
Meanwhile, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte believes that if her father, the President, is really ill, then he would not show himself to the public.
In a TV interview Sarah stressed that her father is not gravely ill — following the remarks of the President, he would not seek any medical treatment if he was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer.
The President also announced on Tuesday that the result of his latest endoscopy procedure turned out to be negative for cancer.
“You will not see the President in public if he is sick,” Duterte said. “If it’s already on Stage 3, then he should have undergone chemotherapy. So I don’t think that he is sick.”
with Elmer N. Manuel