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Letters from Davao: “One-on-One’ By Jun Ledesma

ONE CAN go terribly wrong when, in choosing an enemy, harp on one who does only what is right. When the likes of Sen. Antonio Trillanes picked Sec. Bong Go as his recent target for his yet another misadventure in trying to shake down and discredit Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte, he actually invites aggression upon himself from people who trust Bong and his boss PRRD.

The problem of Trillanes is that he believes in himself. Surprisingly his twin in the lower house, the one named Alejano, also displays the same narcissistic symptom.

Trillanes should have absorbed a lesson from that interview with Stephen Sackur of British Broadcasting Corporation “HARD TALK”. The news anchor was trying to hammer on the head of the senator that an overwhelming majority of Filipinos supports what PRRD was doing. Sackur was obviously referring to the results of surveys done by both the Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia. In short it’s no longer the 16-million votes that Duterte garnered in the presidential race but two years after that election those who did not vote for PRRD started to realize after all that he was delivering their expectations. Stoic as he was and still is, Trillanes can only say that Duterte’s popularity will diminish in time. Stephen Sackur told him he is out of tune.

In discrediting Bong Go by alluding political motives to his active role in delivering the President’s various social outreach programs, which earns him space and time in mainstream and social media, Trillanes and other critics of Bong Go only succeeded in making the Special Assistant to the President extremely popular.

Always a silent worker who makes no waves with what he is doing, Bong is apolitical and just doing the chores that Duterte as Mayor of Davao City and now President of the Philippines assigns to him. When he rushed to Sampaloc, Manila to see the extent of the damage of the fire that gutted several houses and then came back with relief goods and cash assistance later, he did so unceremoniously. It’s not his fault if media covers the event, it’s not his wish to be lined up along with those who hanker to run for elective posts.

On a one-on-one challenge between Go and Trillanes, this navy ensign will have no match. In terms of government service, Trillanes stint was colorless. I best remember him as one who complained about holes in his boots and bad helmets and then after that mounted a mutiny in Oakwood in 2003. Put to prison, he ran and won sympathy votes. Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile vouched for him so he can participate in senate deliberations in the senate hall. Even while in prison, he became the most profligate senator by outspending others. True to form he turned against his protector who in turn call him a very dangerous person when he failed to inform the Senate about his constant trip to China and refuse to report the details of his furtive travels.

Bong Go position started sometime in the second term of then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. A graduate of De La Salle University, he served as a special assistant to the Mayor. He was and is trusted because he is loyal and a person of integrity. He is systematic in keeping and dishing out data for his boss. His boss is a workaholic, most active from 9 in the morning to 3 o’clock a.m. the following day. If the Mayor is awake you can be sure Bong Go is. The only time when he is not with the Mayor’s is when Duterte sneaks out from his security to drive a taxi and hunt for criminals. Uncomplaining, he does odd jobs assigned to him by Duterte until now. Trillanes will not be able to fit his shoes otherwise he will stage a mutiny.

Bong Go running for Senator? Those whose life had been touched by Bong wish him to. For now however, that is not in his agenda. So Trillanes and the rest of those who want Bong tainted need not be paranoiac. (Jun Ledesma)


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