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January 14, 2019

Serving, not campaigning?

Say that again, please.

We thought you have become an ordinary citizen when you filed your candidacy for the Senate elections this year.

We clearly remember no less than President Duterte himself saying so in so many words.

This means you have renounced all positions of power and entitlements as a close-in aide of the President.

Of course, we are assuming that such informal or non-portfolio position carries such powers and entitlements.

And so now that you are a plain citizen, how are we to understand your statement that you are “serving“?

Does this mean that you are doing civic duties as a volunteer?

If so, then it is truly an admirable thing.

Alas, you are an officially declared senatorial candidate, and you are getting away with the campaign ride on official government media such as the state news wire agency.

In fact, the Philippine News Agency came out with more than a dozen stories about your personal activities and events in December alone as if you were still a member of the President’s official team.

And this is giving you a tremendous advantage over opposition candidates and even administration bets for the Senate.

This is clearly preferential treatment which the Commission on Elections must look into.

Why is Malacañang keeping a blind eye on this matter while other administration senatorial candidates are denied the same state media coverage of their political activities?

Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said he is just keeping his promise to serve the people and President Rodrigo Duterte despite quitting from his government post.

The former top presidential aide made the remark as he dismissed accusation of detained Senator Leila de Lima's of early campaigning.

"It is true that I still go with President Dutere from time to time. Mahal ko si Tatay Digong (Duterte's nickname). Nangako po ako sa kanya na hindi ko siya pababayaan habang buhay pa ako," Go said in a statement late Friday.

De Lima earlier said Go's actions are "akin to usurpation of authority, since someone else is supposed to have taken already his previous functions as SAP.”

The detained senator also accused Go of using public funds for his early campaigning.

Go is seeking a Senate seat in the May 13 midterm elections.

"Kung sunod man ako ng sunod, ito ay dahil sa pangako ko sa kanya, sa pamilya niya at sa lahat ng nagmamahal sa kaniya. Hindi ito kawalan sa gobyerno dahil ginagawa ko ito sa personal ko na kapasidad. Walang pera ng gobyerno na nasayang at walang drug money na ginamit," he explained.

Go also reiterated that he has friends who support his campaign.

“Marami akong mga kaibigan na naniniwala sa aking ipinaglalaban at tumutulong sa akin na maghatid ng tulong sa ating mga kababayan na nabiktima ng sunog at iba pang uri ng trahedya,” he said.