President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go during the latter’s oath-taking ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on June 27, 2019. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday revealed that his longtime aide, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, wants to run for president.

Duterte made the announcement during the inauguration of several development projects at the Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport.

“Ito ba si Sen. Bong Go, pababa kami sa eroplano, sabi niya na, ‘Sir, may hingin sana ako sa iyo na pabor.’ Sabi niya medyo it leaves a bad taste in the mouth pero ikaw na lang ang magsabi sa kanila. Sabihin ko, ang totoo talaga, isang bagay lang. Sabihin raw sa inyo, gusto niya maging presidente,” Duterte said.

Go laughed and waved off Duterte’s remarks.

It was not the first time Duterte floated the idea of Go becoming his successor.

In a meeting with anti-insurgency officials last March 5, Duterte referred to Go as “presidente.”

Duterte’s announcement came just as the ruling PDP-Laban party divulged it was distributing a “unified manifesto” urging the 75-year-old to run for vice president in the 2022 national elections.

Results of a Pulse Asia survey on the 2022 presidential elections found that Duterte-Carpio was preferred by 26 percent of Filipinos.

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., Sen. Grace Poe, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao were the other frontrunners.

The next presidential elections are slated for May 2022. John Ezekiel J. Hirro