PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte may have already chosen his heir apparent to the presidency when he called Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go “presidente” Friday, March 5, 2021, in Cagayan de Oro City.
So is Senator Bong Go running for president? What will happen to the Sara Duterte for President Movement? Or will it be a Bong-Sara tandem?
Not only did President Duterte address Go as "presidente," but also asked the senator to stand up and waved at the audience during the joint meeting of the National Task Force - Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Northern Mindanao (NTF-RTF-ELCAC X) at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) Gymnasium in Cagayan de Oro.
"Presidente, tindog og usab beh, angayan ba ka. Tindog og usab, ana-ana dayon (waving his hand). Mubo ra na, itaas na. He (Go) was with me for 21 years," the President said.
However, the senator was quick to clarify that he is not interested of the presidency.
"I am very grateful for the trust given to me by the President. Salamat po sa tiwala pero hindi po ako interesado," Go clarified.
The senator said that his focus for now is to serve the Filipino people. He said his priority is to serve the country in this time of the pandemic.
"Pagdating sa usaping pulitika, please count me out. Dahil kung malampasan natin ang krisis na ito, wala na tayong pulitika na pag-uusapan pa," the senator said.
Senator Go was also publicly endorsed by the President during his visit to Tandag, Surigao del Sur to check on the relief efforts of the government after the devastation of the Typhoon "Auring" in the area on February 22.
But the Senator brushed it off, saying the Presidentb was only joking.
Go was Duterte's aide when he was mayor and vice mayor of Davao City.
He was Special Assistant to the President when Duterte won in 2016.
He was endorsed to run for senator by Duterte in 2019 and won.
Go, together with Duterte, set up the first Malasakit Center in the country at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu in 2018.
The Malasakit Center is a One-Stop Shop where indigent patients can efficiently access financial medical assistance from agencies such as PhilHealth, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Todate there are already 102 Malasakit Centers in the country which have served over two million patients by end of 2020.
Meanwhile, Mayor Sara Duterte recently clarified that she is not also planning to run in 2022, but maybe in 2034.
This after supporters gathered in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Intramuros, Manila on Feb. 1, 2021 urging her to run for president next year.
Calendars containing Duterte-Carpio's photo with the caption, "Run Sara, run for President 2022" were distributed to several vendors on Banawe Street in Quezon City during the supporters' gathering.
Read more: Mayor thanks people urging her to run for president
Earlier, President Duterte said he had cautioned his daughter against running for president.
"My daughter, inuudyok man nila. Sabi ko, my daughter, is not running. I have told Inday not to run because naaawa ako sa dadaanan nya na dinaanan ko," the President said during the inauguration of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 in January.
Recently, Cebuano supporters also staged a caravan urging the presidential daughter to run and put up "Run Sara Run" tarpaulins at strategic areas in Cebu. (MVG)