MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte received a rousing reception from the Filipino community in Hong Kong after his participation at the Boao Forum for Asia in China, alongside his long-time aide Christopher Lawrence Bong Go, who has been urged to run for senator in the 2019 mid-term elections by no less than his boss.
Our favorite senator Bong Go, Duterte said as he introduced Go as one of the members of his entourage during the President's meeting with about 2,500 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kowloon, Hong Kong on Thursday night.
Go's name drew the loudest applause, boosting the clamor for him to run as one of the administration's senatorial bets in the 2019 mid-term elections.
When the Senate summoned Go to explain his alleged intervention in the PHP18-billion Navy frigate project two months ago, Duterte found it an opportunity for Go not only to prove his innocence, but to try his ticket in the world of politics.
I told him, first he was about unsettling. I said, 'Bong, this is gonna be your ticket to being senator.' I've been into politics for so long. Once you harass a person and that person is really very good in the eyes of the public perception, you're just making him hero, the President said.
Duterte described Go as very shy and a humble person, traits that would catapult his top assistant to the Senate.
Without campaigning, he became senator Bong Go. He is now already being called senator. He has a lot of fans now, he said.
You know, even (if) it would be realized or not, life is really very funny. Of course, the presidency, it's a God-given gift. My presidency is (a) God-given gift. It really came from God, he added.
Just like him, Duterte said Go if of Chinese descent with both of them tracing their roots to their Chinese grandfathers.
If the people of Hong Kong will vote, he will surely win, the President said in jest.
Before joining Duterte's entourage, Go held a separate meeting with members of the Filipino community in Hong Kong.
In his speech, Go called on OFWs to support the programs of the Duterte administration.
I ask all of you to help the President and the government as we implement our agenda to fight illegal drugs, crime and corruption and bring about meaningful and lasting transformation on our society, Go said in a gathering of more than 200 Filipinos.
He said the government is always prepared to assist Filipinos working abroad.
The gathering was organized by Myrna Padilla, founder of the Mindanao Hong Kong Workers Federation, including other supporters of Duterte and Go.
The supporters have encouraged Go to run for senator in next year's mid-term elections.
Despite the growing clamor for him to run for senator, Go remains noncommittal whether to throw his hat into the political arena.
Aside from Go, the names of Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and his political adviser Francis Tolentino have also been mentioned by the President as possible senatorial wannabes.
All of them received cheers from the receptive crowd but Go got the loudest applause.
Source: Philippine News Agency