Bong Go's pre-campaign 'proxy' in Albay
Among personalities reported to be gunning for a Senate seat next year, no one has been as visible as Special Assistant to the President Bong Go. Over the last nearly two years, he has evolved from being a regular fixture in photo opportunities with President Rodrigo Duterte to being the primary subject of Malacañang photo releases.
Duterte's aide has been going around places burned to the ground in Metro Manila and as far as Cebu, sometimes even arriving ahead of local officials to comfort families and extend financial help. He has even embarked on a footwear swap program for fire victims, where he gives his shoes to locals, and gets their slippers in return.
And where he cannot be physically present to give money or shoes, Go has a proxy sure to place him at the back of people's minds, whether they like it or not.
Five months before the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2019 elections, Go’s preparations for his apparent Senate bid hit Albay's airwaves. This week, Go’s jingle was played over Legazpi-based radio station dzGB.
Go wasn’t the only apparent aspirant working double time to embed themselves in voters’ consciousness in Albay. Tarpaulins bearing the images of Davao City Representive Karlo Nograles and Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino can be seen too in parts of the Bicol region.
Go said in February that he wasn't interested in running for senator, but later said it would be up to President Rodrigo Duterte. His boss had already endorsed him in some public events.
Can you read the near future? – with reports from Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler.com
Inside Track is Rappler's intelligencer on people, events, places and everything of public interest. It's a take-off from Newsbreak's Inside Track section. Contributions are most welcome. Just send bits of information to firstname.lastname@example.org.