with Homobono A. Adaza
“Charity is the salt of riches.”
“All charming people are spoiled –
that’s the secret of their charm.”
If Rodrio Duterte did not become President – nobody would have heard of Christopher Go, popularly known as Bongo Go, outside of Davao City. If Duterte did not become President, Bongo Go would never have become senator. As senator, he is just another intellectual pygmy in the Senate – embarrassing but looks entertaining. First, he looks like one of the dwarfs in Sleeping Beauty – charming and full of mystery. Wherever President Duterte goes, you’ll find now Senator Bong Go always a step away from the President – smiling and looking mysterious.
President Duterte and Senator Bong Go look like the Odd Couple in the movie. If you don’t know they are macho men, you might suspect they are a married couple – inseparable. One look at them – you will discern that loving gentleness of a caring married couple.
Senator Bong Go, with the way he moves – will die for President Duterte in any day. His dedication to President Duterte is consuming and fanatical like that of Tonto to Lone Ranger and Sancho Panza to Don Quixote de la Mancha. No wonder – Duterte wants Bongo Go to be President on the theory that whatever Duterte wants Duterte gets like Lola in the famous song.
And now Senator Go: At the beginning of the Rodrigo Duterte presidency – a lot of people were wondering who is this mysterious Chinese looking man always behind President Duterte when he delivered a speech, presided over a Cabinet meeting and conducted a press conference. After a few weeks or months of his presidency, Duterte was impelled or compelled to unravel the mystery – Christopher “Bong” Go, the mystery man, is head or primary part of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and a long time billionaire, according to President Duterte. Wow, a multimillionaire having a billionaire for a factotum, possibly the proper word should be procurer as he is perceived to attend to all kinds of need of President Duterte – official, unofficial and personal. This really is one for the books – if not for Reply’s Believe It or Not.
The push: Typical of Duterte, he made Bong Go run for the Senate, just like Bato dela Rosa. As expected, courtesy of Social Weather Station, Pulse Asia, Mocha Uson and Alex Prieto’s band of trolls – Christopher Go aka Bong Go was elected senator.
Under normal democratic circumstances, a man like Bong Go cannot be elected senator as it would be an insult to a knowledgeable voter’s intelligence. First, at the time he ran for senator, Bong Go probably did not even know the difference between a Constitution and a statute. Neither could he have known the difference between a treaty and an executive agreement. But most certainly, he probably would have known the difference between a Chinaman and a Filipino.
Like many current senators, they are nothing but factuta, running dogs and fanatics of President Duterte – dumb driven cattle, as the poet describes men and women of this type. Bong Go like some of his colleagues in the Senate is an insult to the Filipino intelligence – if there is such a thing.
The reputation: As procurer or factotum of President Duterte, he is publicly reputed to be the most powerful man with Duterte and his administration. Whenever supposed insoluble problems emerge, Senator Bong Go is the man to see – whether to approve a contract, to secure a favor or have an audience with President Duterte, according to knowledgeable sources and observers. Like Lola in the song – whatever Duterte wants Duterte gets, and Senator Go, acting like his lord and master, whatever Bong Go wants, Bongo Go gets.
Just read the media news on the Commission on Audit report and listen to the hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Senator Bong Go played a starring role in the highly questionable contract amounting to billions of pesos awarded to the company with a little more that P560,000.00 capital. No wonder, President Duterte is crazy defending the indefensible contract. At this point in time, any intelligent trial lawyer will tell you that the contract stinks of graft and corruption and plunder. It does not smell of perfume from Chanel or Burberry.
This is not the only transaction where the shadows of Senator Bong Go and President Duterte appear. In so far as government contracts are concerned, the dynamic duo is within smelling distance many a time.
The presidency: President Duterte is pushing Senator Bong Go to run for President in the May 2022 elections – with President Duterte as Vice-President. President Duterte has done many irrational and indefensible things as President but Bongo Go and Rodrigo Duterte running in tandem is about the most irrational of them all. Why? Senator Bong Go’s On the Job Training (OJT), up to this point in time will not prepare him for competent, effective and appreciable national governance. Why? Just look at the record of Rodrigo Duterte as President for the last five years, there is nothing there that suggests competence and rationality. So what Senator Go would have learned in his OJT with President Duterte is a lot of presidential incompetence and irrationality – and that is no way to be prepared for the presidency.
Signs: Publicly, Senator Bong Go categorically states he has no ambition to become President. If true, at least, the man is honest in this regard to admit that he has no acceptable qualifications to be President. But being one of the factuta of President Duterte – Can he refuse Duterte? I doubt that. If it is not a usual Duterte drama leading to a different twist – it will be a Go-Duterte tandem in May of 2022. That will be a catastrophe for the country because the current Duterte administration is already a calamity – thousands of extra-judicial killings; rampant graft and corruption, according to President Duterte himself; pampering and tolerating the military, police and his friends among public officials to commit all possible crimes; admitting to inability to solve national problems; throwing away Philippine territory and economic zones into the hands of Communist China and President Xi Jin Ping; wanton constitutional and human rights violations; and shaming the Filipino people in the eyes of the world.
Senator Go’s role: If Senator Go really does not want to be President, he has a role to play –he should tell President Duterte to forget running for Vice-President as that would be disastrous for Duterte and the country. President Duterte had several confused and confusing reasons to run for Vice-President. First, he said he wants to have immunity from criminal prosecution, thus he is running for Vice-President. But that is a wrong reason. As Vice-President, he is not immune from suit. Second, he will insure the continuity of his program of government. If as President he could not implement them successfully – more so as Vice-President. Third, he wants to be Vice-President because he will audit all government officers and employees as well as the Commission on Audit (COA). But that is not the job of a Vice-President. That is the constitutional duty of the COA – not that of the Vice-President. If he does that, he can be criminally charged with usurpation of public duties under the Revised Penal Code and for violating sections 3(3e) of RA 3019 – and section 4 of RA 6713.
From these facts, it is quite clear President Duterte wants to be President again. It is about time Senator Go tells President Duterte to respect his view not to run for President – not to treat him like a slave but as a human being, a senator of the realm and a billionaire, as President Duterte proclaims him to be, and for Duterte not to run for Vice-President.
Senator Go is still young and a billionaire. He has still a lot to learn to be President. If he submits to the dictation of President Duterte to run for President with Rodrigo Dutere as his Vice-President – that might just be the tipping point to precipitate a major political upheaval which will blow them into kingdom come with the PDP-LABAN and the Digong fanatics along with it. If Senator Bong Go can prevent that catastrophe – maybe the next administration and the Filipino people will be kind to him. (HAA)