Bong Go knows best
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Still doubting that Dvao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was serious when he said he was not running for president in 2016?
Take a cue from the one closest to Duterte who on September 7 frustrated supporters with his “final” announcement that he is not joining the race to Malacanang.
Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Duterte’s executive assistant, has provided the answer to the nagging question about Duterte’s political plans.
Bong has stopped donning “Duterte For President” shirts, a fashion shift with loaded meanings, after his boss made the announcement.
Bong should be the best man able to read the mayor: He has been Duterte’ executive assistant for nearly two decades.
Bong said he respected the decision of the mayor and wearing the Duterte shirts is no longer fashionable after his boss said he was not running.
The mayor said he is not running so why should I wear them?
Since the start of the Duterte-for-President fever early this year, Bong has been an omnipresent assistant, clad in Duterte shirts emblazoned with a variety of slogans and designs, by the side of Duterte in forums and speaking engagements from Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao.
Bong, after the Duterte announcement, has been spotted in a fashion change: Instead of a Duterte shirt, he was wearing a green one, a fashion that is also pregnant with political undertones.
Green is the official color of former mayor Sara Duterte, who is being pushed again to run for the city’s stop post by Duterte, her father.
Last week, the city was festooned with green ribbons, a public message convincing her to run again for mayor. Sara went back to her law practice after a single mayoral term in 2010 to 2013.
Duterte supporters said the decision not to run is a trade mark Duterte ploy, as the mayor is well-known for his “last minute” moves. In the past, the long-time mayor (now 20 years plus) would make pre-poll announcements about political retirement then files his bid for another term at the last minute.
His decision not to run for president has not doused cold water to persistent supporters hoping at seeing Duterte filing his certificate of candidacy at the last minutes of October 16, the deadline set by Comelec.
But Duterte said his decision was final and not a political strategy.
I said categorically I won’t, isn’t that not enough?, Duterte said as media badgered him on his decision on September 11 in a hotel in Davao City where he was guest speaker of a Kiwanis club.
Duterte moaned that people suffer from reverse thinking about his decision not to run for president.
When I say I will run, people say I will not. When I say, I won’t run, they say, I will, he said.