Senator Christopher Lawrence Go is also qualified to become President Rodrigo Duterte’s successor in 2022, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Friday.
He made the statement three days after Duterte made a firm stance that his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara “Inday” Duterte, would not run for president in next year’s elections.
Panelo, who is one of those who initiated the clamor for Sara’s presidency, said Go also has the potential to lead the country.
“Meron na tayong dalawang pinagpipilian kung talagang ayaw ni Mayor Sara, kung hindi na magbago ang isipan niya (At least, we now have two options if Mayor Sara decides not to run and will no longer change her mind),” he said. “Kung hindi tatakbo si Mayor Sara, oh eh di pwede na rin si Senator Bong Go (If Mayor Sara does not run, we can have Senator Bong Go).”
During a situational briefing on the impact of Tropical Storm Auring in Tandag City on Tuesday, Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel urged Duterte to convince either Sara or Go to join the 2022 presidential race.
The President, however, was opposed to Pimentel’s call to let his daughter succeed him when he steps down next year.
Panelo said Duterte, during the situational briefing in Tandag City, instead encouraged Go to pursue the presidential bid.
He said Duterte saw potential in Go who served as his long-time aide before getting elected as a senator.
“Mukhang sa pananaw niya, ito naman si Bong Go. Nakita ni Presidente, aba okay ‘to ah (For him, Bong Go should be given the chance. The President believes Go can do the job),” Panelo said.
He also floated the possibility of a Go-Duterte tandem in 2022.
“Kita niyo, Go-Duterte, hindi ba maganda (Go-Duterte is good, isn’t it?),” he said.
Continuing Duterte’s legacy
Panelo said there would be continuity of Duterte’s legacy, in case Go decides to join the 2022 presidential derby.
Like Duterte, he said, Go also shows compassion to Filipinos and exhibits courage.
Panelo, however, acknowledged that Go is not yet ready to take on the presidency.
“Sinasabi niya (Go), gusto ko lang serbisyo. Exactly, kung gusto mo serbisyo, eh ‘di tumakbo kang president, maging president ka. Eh ‘di continue ng service mo at the same time, continuity rin ng legacy ni Presidente (He said he just wants to serve the public. You should run for president and be the president if you want to continue serving the people. At the same time, there would be continuity of the President’s legacy),” he said.
Fight vs. corruption
As the country’s chief executive, Duterte vowed to curb illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption under his watch.
In a public address delivered on Wednesday, the President renewed his vow to fight corruption until the end of his term but admitted that it is impossible to have an “entirely clean” government.
Panelo said Duterte’s successor should have the same resolve to stop corruption in government.
“Corruption remains at talagang kahit pa ‘yung susunod kay Presidente, mahihirapan din (Corruption remains and the President’s successor would also have a difficult time dealing with it). But like the president, he can always, as he did, reduce and minimize corruption,” he said. (PNA)