|Senator of the Philippines|
|Assumed office |
June 30, 2019
|Chair of the Philippine Senate |
Health and Sports Committee
|Assumed office |
July 22, 2019
|Special Assistant to|
the President of the Philippines
June 30, 2016 – October 15, 2018
|Preceded by||Julia Abad|
|Succeeded by||Jesus Melchor Quitain (OIC)|
Christopher Lawrence Tesoro Go
June 14, 1974
Davao City, Philippines
|Alma mater||De La Salle University|
|No. 18 – Muntinlupa Cagers|
|League||Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League|
|Listed height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Tesoro Go (Tagalog: [ˈgo]; born June 14, 1974) is a Filipino politician who currently serves as the personal aide of President Rodrigo Duterte as well as a member of the Philippine Senate since 2019. Go formerly held the post as Special Assistant to the President from June 2016 to October 2018.
Go Early life and education
Go is the son of the Davao-based businessman Desiderio Go and Marichu Tesoro-Go. He has 3 sons, Ryan Mike Go, Adrian Go, Christian Lawrence Go.
Go was born on June 14, 1974 to a Chinese Filipino family. He is a grandson of August Tesoro, whose father founded one of the largest printing press in Davao City. Go attended De La Salle University and graduated with a Management degree.
Duterte's personal aide (1998-present)
Since 1998, Go has served as executive assistant and personal aide for then-Mayor of Davao City Rodrigo Duterte. Being in charge of both personal and official matters, he has called himself as Duterte's all around 'utility man'.
During the 2016 election campaign season, Go was often described as the "national photobomber" by the media, for being always in the photos at the side of Duterte in his campaign sorties. He is one of the key people in Duterte's campaign for presidency. On October 15, 2015, Go, wearing a shirt which says No is No, filed Duterte's certificate of candidacy on Duterte's behalf at the Comelec office in Manila, for a re-election bid for the Davao City mayoralty post. According to him, he called Aquilino Pimentel III, the president of Duterte's political party, PDP-Laban, to file his candidacy for president, that can help Duterte for possible substitution and provide hope for his fans. According to Pimentel, it had been decided that Martin Diño, the chairman of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), would file his candidacy as Pimentel was about to board a plane to Switzerland at that time.
Go served as a campaign sortie manager of Duterte. Then President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on June 2, 2016 announced the appointment of Christopher Go as the Special Assistant to the President and is tasked to provide general supervision to the Presidential Management Staff.
During his time as Special Assistant to the President, his alleged involvement in the Philippine Navy's ₱16 billion Frigate Deal was revealed by online news site Rappler. Pertinent documents that linked Bong Go to the deal, detailing how he had interfered with the process, violating several procurement laws when he endorsed a supplier outside the bidding process were released to the public. Bong Go denied the allegations, declaring that he would resign if ever he was proven guilty and claimed that the media and his critics are endangering national security. Vice Admiral Mercado of the Philippine Navy, who was allegedly sacked for questioning the frigate deal, has cleared Go of any involvement, claiming that Go had never communicated with those who were involved in the deal. Duterte defended Go, saying that "[he] owns a yacht, therefore he doesn't need to steal in the frigate deal". The Malacañang also made clear their stance that Bong Go did not intervene. A probe by the Senate regarding the deal was made, but did no further clarifications about Go's role on the deal.
During his time as Special Assistant to the President, he became known for selfies he posts online, saying he values these images as part of his "personal collection". He came to wider public attention during the APEC Summit where Bong Go posted photos of himself with various world leaders attending the meeting. His selfies at the APEC summit inspired an internet meme with people superimposing his face on photos suggesting he had met a certain person or witnessed an event mostly for comical purposes.
Bong Go made a formal bid for the Senate on October 15, 2018 when he filed his certificate of candidacy accompanied by President Rodrigo Duterte and other members of the president's Cabinet. Go's platform for his Senate bid includes pledges to build healthcare and social service facilities dubbed as "Malasakit Centers" across the Philippines as well as the repeal of the Juvenile Justice law which sets the minimum age of criminal liability at 15 years old. Doubts about his capability to conduct a nationwide campaign was countered by President Duterte, noting that the Tesoros, Go's mother's family, own one of the largest printing firms in Mindanao.
Even before his formal filing of candidacy, Go has already been subject of allegations of premature campaigning. In relief operations after a fire in Manila, relief goods with "Ready Set Go" branding were distributed alongside government relief goods provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Go has repeatedly denied that he was personally involved in the production or distribution of any merchandise, once citing his supporters as producing them without his consent and on one occasion said that it was done under the President's directive. He also urged his supporters to stopped "politicizing" their cause by using his name and likeness. Nonetheless, calls for tarpaulins bearing his image to be removed had made the rounds in social media.
After the election, Go garnered roughly 21 million votes and was sworn into office after placing 3rd overall, he officially took his rightful seat in the Senate beginning his term on June 30, 2019. Among his first priority projects was the creation of another water-resource government institution called the "Department of Water" which drew some flak from netizens, calling Go's proposal "non-sense".
On his first months in office, Go has already filed several bills including creating a Department of Disaster Resilience, the postponement of the 2020 Sangguniang Kabataan elections on the barangay level, and a bill co-authored with fellow Senator Manny Pacquiao pushing a death penalty back. On August 2019, Go went with President Rodrigo Duterte on his trip to China for a bilateral meeting of the two nations to discuss issues. He also did his act that made him an internet meme and brought him to prominence, Go took selfies again with President Xi Jinping and movie icon Jackie Chan.
On November 4, 2019, Go visited those who were affected by the 2019 Cotabato earthquakes riding a motorbike with his campaign jingle playing in the background and handed out relief goods to the victims.
Beyond politics, Bong Go is also an avid basketball fan and has participated in amateur leagues and guested in prominent local basketball events in the country. He usually spectates in the Philippine Basketball Association and joined in the three-point shoot out competition of the 2018 PBA All-Star Week. Along with Senators Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva, Go was featured in a three-point shoot out exhibition during the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup which was hosted in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Go also joined the roster of the Muntinlupa Cagers of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League. This move was objected by his critics as using the MPBL as a platform for his senatorial bid in 2019. Go defended the move saying he just wanted to promote basketball in the country and acknowledged his old age and the superior height of his opponents. He rarely played appearing in only one season with the team, to focus on his Senate job and on assisting Duterte as his political advisor.
- "Duterte appoints Jesus Melchor Quitain as new special assistant". ABS-CBN News. November 12, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- "Bong Go to head Palace management staff, Andanar to head PCOO". GMA News. June 2, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- "Duterte appoints closest aide, broadcaster to Palace posts". Philippine Star. June 3, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- "Duterte heaps praises on SAP Bong Go". Manila Standard. April 12, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- "Fact check: Sergio Osmeña was actually the first Chinese Filipino senator". The Philippine Star. September 26, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- "A photobomber in Duterte campaign". Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 8, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- "Bong Go, executive assistant ni Duterte mula pa noong 1998". GMA News. May 12, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- "Who's who in Duterte's inner circle". Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 9, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- Rodrigo Duterte to seek re-election as Davao City mayor – CNN Philippines.
- "The man they call Bong Go - Rappler". Rappler. May 27, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- "A peek into Rodrigo Duterte's campaign team". Rappler. February 19, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- Diola, Camille (June 3, 2016). "Duterte appoints closest aide, broadcaster to Palace posts". The Philippine Star. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- "TIMELINE | What we need to know: Bong Go and the P16-B Navy frigate deal". Interaksyon. February 19, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Bong Go: Frigate deal controversy endangering national security". cnn. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Sacked Navy official speaks up: 'I am still hurting'". cnn. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Duterte: Bong Go a 'yacht-owner,' need not steal in frigate deal | Philstar.com". philstar.com. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- News, Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN. "Palace: 'Very clear' Bong Go did not intervene in frigate deal". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Senate probe exposes root of frigates deal mess". Rappler. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "5 nagging questions after the Senate frigates probe". Rappler. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Robles, Raissa. "Christopher "Bong" Go is a billionaire, says Duterte". www.raissarobles.com. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Nawal, Allan. "Bong Go: From national photobomber to king of selfies". Inquirer.net. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
- "'Pambansang Photobomber' Bong Go becomes hilarious photo meme". Rappler. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Panti, Llanesca (October 15, 2018). "Bong Go files COC, seeks Senate seat in 2019 polls". GMA News. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "Comelec on premature campaigning: Kadiri siya pero hindi illegal". GMA News Online. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Nothing illegal with premature campaigning — Supreme Court | Philstar.com". philstar.com. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Comelec warns vs 'premature campaigning'". Manila Standard. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Matriano, Kate. "WATCH: Ex Battalion sings campaign jingle for Bong Go". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Do Bong Go's donations, billboards violate government ethics code?". Rappler. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- News, Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN. "'Bong Go' phones as gov't souvenirs? Duterte aide explains". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Bong Go tarps, relief goods, cellphones: President's aide has a disclaimer". Interaksyon. July 13, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Reysio-Cruz, Matthew. "Netizens want Go's posters gone". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Bong Go backs creation of Department of Water". www.digitalfilipina.com.
- Saavedra, John Rey; Guadalquiver, Nanette (March 14, 2019). "Go supports death penalty revival after Cebu teen's brutal slay". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- "Bong Go for lower age of criminal liability". Daily Tribune. January 23, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- "Bong Go files bill creating Department of Disaster Resilience". www.senate.gov.ph.
- "Marcos, Go files bills seeking postponement of 2020 barangay SK election".
- "PHILIPPINES Pacquiao, Bong Go file bills on death penalty for illegal drugs cases". /www.rappler.com.
- "Post on Facebook".
- Post on Twitter
- The Wires (June 6, 2018). "SAP Bong Go to play for Muntinlupa in MPBL opener against Mandaluyong". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- "Bong Go defends move to play in MPBL, says it's all for the promotion of basketball in the country". Hoops PH. June 10, 2018. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- Media related to Christopher Go at Wikimedia Commons
| The Head of the Presidential Management Staff
Jesus Melchor Quitain