President Duterte should distance himself from Senator Bong Go

The top executives of ABS-CBN conducted themselves with dignity, grace, and respect during today’s Senate inquiry into its franchise renewal imbroglio. With that as his backdrop, Senator Bong Go stood out in stark contrast.

In one misguided statement, Go did the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte an astounding disservice.

I think this was an absolute stupid thing to say. It’s not just up to the President to renew the ABS-CBN franchise. Its fate is up to Congress and, now, the Supreme Court after the Quo Warranto. Bong Go should stop showing off and giving the impression he can influence the President. He is now a senator and should act like one.

Bong Go’s problem is that he presumes to speak for the president. But that is not his job. The job of speaking for the president is in the capable hands of Malacanang spokesperson Salvador Panelo. Panelo, in fact, is so competent that he left ABS-CBN TV personality Karen Davila awkwardly stammering through an interview with him the other day.

While Panelo stood by his position during that interview that Congress is an independent co-equal branch of government, Go takes a position in stupid contradiction to this. In this way, he not only does a disservice to the president, he also dishonours the Senate.

It’s time President Rodrigo Duterte distance himself from this man. Bong Go is a blight on the Duterte government but he still has time to make up for it — by spending the rest of his term in the Senate doing the job he was elected to do.

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