Bong Go Wants to Be President, Says Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday floated the idea of Sen. Bong Go running to succeed him, saying his longtime aide "wants to run for President."
Duterte made the remarks about Go during a speech in Dumaguete City, where the senator was also present. Sought for comment, Go said the President was joking.
"When we were on our way here, Bong said, 'please talk to the people, tell them that I want to run for president.'," Duterte told the crowd in Visayan.
Duterte repeated the same statement in Tagalog.
"Itong si Senator Bong Go, pababa kami ng eroplano, sabi niya, ‘sir may hihingin sana ako sayo na pabor. Sabi niya ‘medyo it leaves a bad taste in the mouth kasi malayo pa, pero ikaw na lang ang magsabi sa kanila," he said.
"Ang totoo talaga, isang bagay lang, sabihin daw sa inyo na gusto niya maging presidente," he said.
Sought for comment, Go dismissed the President's statement as a joke, saying he might only change his mind if the former Davao City mayor runs for vice president.
"I am very grateful for the trust given to me by the President. Salamat po sa tiwala pero alam naman po ng Pangulo na hindi talaga ako interesado. Biro lang ng Pangulo iyon," Go said.
"Magbabago lang siguro ang isip ko kung tatakbong Vice President si Pangulong Duterte," he added.
Also on Thursday, a group of the President's supporters launched a campaign to convince him to run for vice president in 2022. Duterte is barred by the Constitution from seeking a second consecutive term.
Go has been Duterte's trusted aide since his time as Davao City mayor. In 2019, the President campaigned for Go, who won a Senate seat in his first foray in politics.
While serving in the Senate, Go continues to maintain a close relationship with the President, attending executive meetings and making announcements on the chief executive's behalf.
New appointments or directives from Duterte for instance are sometimes coursed through Go instead of the Presidential Communications Operations Office or Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
This story originally appeared on Reportr.world. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors.