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Bong Go wins a top endorser | Philippine News Agency


By Jun Ledesma

THEY do not know each other but they have heard of each other. They have not even met but each knew what they do in their respective endeavors. Bong Go, the most trusted man of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte when it comes to performing the tasks in the corporate social responsibility program of the Executive Office, confesses he looks up to UP Prof. Clarita “Claire” Carlos with awe. In turn she admires what the former Special Assistant to the President had been doing not only as confidant of the Chief Executive but in implementing the social outreach projects of his boss.

Bong Go, as we know, does not put his name on the countless package of assistance he extends to the needy. He does not even ask if one is in the opposite side of the political spectrum. He does not ask whether you are pro-Aquino or a Romualdez in dispensing aid to typhoon or fire victims or a patient needing medical assistance. (Get my drift?)

Professor Carlos heard of the President Duterte’s Malasakit Center program. Before he bowed out as SAP when he filed his candidacy for Senator, Bong had already established several centers all over the country. His name is synonymous to Malasakit Center.

This is similar to Davao City ‘s “Lingap Center” which caters to poor patients. Bong Go was in-charge of the program when he was still executive assistant to then Mayor Duterte, ergo he is no stranger to what the centers are for.

The UP Professor and the SAP had an accidental encounter. The driver of Carlos had a stroke and has to be rushed to a hospital. Being a retired soldier, he was brought to the Veterans Hospital, which turned out lacked the facilities to attend to a stroke victim. Next option was the Philippine Heart Center where he was admitted and treated. Bills were mounting and the poor driver and Claire’s financial resource were getting thin.

When it was time to leave and settle the bills, they were told that everything had been paid for. Here is Prof. Carlos post on my FB wall:

“Serafin Ledesma Jr, Thank you for that note re my rant vs this hospital for our retired military.

Just to update : he is recovering well and quick, too, with a combined laser and acupuncture therapy! After just 1 1/2 months, he can now walk slowly and no longer slurs! Monumental changes really !

The best part is that, after crowd funding for his huge hospital bill, there was a fairly big amount still left to be paid at the PhilIppine Heart Center.

Thru a former student, I reached out to former SAP, who did not know me, and in no time at all, he paid all the bills outstanding!

Wow! In turn, I offered my consulting services to him, pro bono, on defense and foreign policy matters. He has not responded ... what a kind person!! Thank you!” End of message.

Like Bong, I have not met the professor but we are friends on Facebook. I read all her posts since her brilliant discourse on varied subjects under the sun are priceless. I posted a story about one of Bong Go’s advocacy for the youths and she has this to say:

“Serafin Ledesma Jr, what a laudable plan for our young!

I hope former SAP Go will also think of helping set up public libraries which will have facilities for all age groups including the old people like me, who will soon reach 10% of our total population.

Our young people cannot just be malling all the time! These public libraries can double as community centers where the youth are trained on disaster mitigation and adaptation and training for all aspects of leadership, too!

Mabuhay ka, former SAP Go! I hope you will soon be a decision maker to make things happen! Saludo!’’

Some candidates can indeed be lucky, if not blessed. But this is not just blessing, it is also significant considering that the support comes from a respected professor not only from the University of the Philippines but from the academe.

Bong Go has something going way ahead of election day.

About the Columnist

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Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.