HONG KONG — President Rodrigo Duterte in his chat on Tuesday morning with Chinese President Xi Jinping proudly spoke of Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go.
Now in Hong Kong to meet overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Duterte and Go talked about their Chinese ancestry with President Xi, with Duterte extolling Go for being very kind and hardworking.
Duterte and Go have Chinese lineage.
In past interviews with Chinese media, including news service Xinhua, Duterte traced his roots to a grandfather from Xiamen in China’s Fujian province.
There is a mounting clamor in the Philippines for Go to seek higher office in the 2019 mid-term elections.
Last month, various sectors met in Manila to convince Go seek an elective post like a seat in the Philippine Senate. Go was noncommittal although he was profuse in thanking, through a phone call, his supporters who came from all over the country.
It remains to be seen though if Go would throw his hat into the political ring if President Duterte himself gives his blessing.
A Palace source said Go may be prevailed upon by Duterte himself to serve through an elective post. In serving Duterte as Davao City mayor and now as President, Go himself has been serving Filipinos, added the source.
“If the President sees SAP Bong Go doing much, much more as a senator perhaps, then why not? I think the President will be the first to give SAP Bong Go the wings to fly,” the Palace insider.
An observer on the Duterte-Go-Xi chat said, “Those are the ties that bind them – their Chinese lineage, and their thrust, by history, in the position to serve others.”
In a previous visit to China, Duterte told Xinhua that about two million ethnic Chinese live and work in the Philippines and that nearly a quarter of the Philippine population have Chinese lineage.
“It’s only China [that] can help us,” Duterte had said then as he thanked China’s funding support for his projects, including a mega drug rehabilitation center.
“My grandfather was Chinese. So we might be asking for your help, asking the Chinese people to help Chinese people here. They are Filipinos, but they are also Chinese,” Duterte told Xinhua.