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Even as senator, Bong Go to still 'assist' Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Senator-aide?

His work as a senator will not stop Christopher "Bong" Go from assisting President Rodrigo Duterte, whom he served for 3 years as special assistant and many more years before that as aide to the then-Davao City mayor.

"Noon po SAP (special assistant to the President) na secretary at nasa tabi po ni Pangulong Duterte. [Ngayon,] priority ko po ay senado now that I’m [a] senator. Subalit 'di ibig sabihin ay hindi ko tutulungan ang ating Pangulo. Isa po ang aming hangarin," Go said.

(When I was still SAP, I was always beside President Duterte. Now that I'm senator, my priority is the Senate. But it doesn't mean that I will no longer help our President. We have the same aspirations.)

For one, Go said that he will support the legislative agenda of Duterte. "Suportahan po lahat ng legislative agenda ng ating Pangulo. Nagkakaintidihan naman kami diyan. Kahit tinginan lang, kami nagkakaintindihan," said Go. (I will support all the legislative agenda of the President. We have an understanding on that. Even if we just look each other in the eye, we understand each other.)

The senator noted that there are 3 session days at the Senate and another day for committe hearings. This allows him time to be with the President "in my own personal capacity."

A newbie in the Senate and a first-time candidate, Go garnered the 3rd most number of votes in the May 2016 senatoral race.

The big win of Duterte's allies in the Senate race has caused concern that the upper chamber will lose its independence.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said that the neophyte lawmakers will have to see how they work.

"'Yung independence ng institution, makikita nila 'yun," (The independence of the institution, they will begin to see that.)

In his speech after being sworn in as Senate president, Senator Vicente Sotto III vowed to maintain balance in the institution. – Rappler.com

 

               For highlights of President Duterte’s 4th SONA, check out our live blog.

              For related stories, visit Rappler’s 2019 State of the Nation Address page.

Rappler takes a deeper look at the first half of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency – its highs and lows, its achievements and shortcomings: Duterte Year 3: The Halfway Mark 

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.

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