Netizens slam video of Duterte impersonator in evacuation center

Photo: ABS-CBN News
Photo: ABS-CBN News

Netizens have slammed a video featuring Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go and a President Rodrigo Duterte impersonator in what looks like an evacuation center for victims of the recent flooding.

Fierce government critic Jover Laurio of Pinoy Ako Blog posted a copy of the video yesterday with the caption “SAP Bong Go@Sto. Niño Marikina Evacuation Center.”

The post has gone viral, having been shared more than 2,200 times.

In the video, Go speaks to the crowd and says in Filipino: “I would just like to introduce the current vice mayor of the maximum security prison of Davao City and the current mayor of the city jail. Here is Duterte!”

Amid scattered laughter, a man speaks with a Visayan accent similar to the president’s.

He says: “I’m here because I love my country. I’m here for love of the Philippines. Here’s what we should remember. No matter how deep the waters are, it’s just up to a duck’s neck. No matter how difficult our trials are, we can get past it. Let’s just have faith in God. We will eventually prevail.”

The unidentified man adds: “If we have a Tatay Digong, we also have a Kuya Bong. He’s here ready to help to everyone who needs help.”

(Tatay Digong or Father Digong is how many Duterte supporters call the president. Kuya means older brother, but could also be used as a way to signify respect.)

For the past few months, people have accused Go of campaigning early for the Senate elections next year.

Although Go has never confirmed that he was running in 2019, there have been instances where his image has appeared in giveaways and paraphernalia. For example, last month, cellphones bearing illustrations of his and Duterte’s faces were given to youth council officials during an event at the Malacañang Palace in July, to which he denied involvement.

Green-colored ballers bearing his name also went viral, thanks to a post that appeared on the Facebook account of a gym which showed their staff wearing them.

Netizens were not happy about Go introducing a “fake” Duterte to the evacuation site.

Wrote @ReneGuidote: “Perhaps Bong Go was doing Duterte a favor by tagging along an impersonator especially if he knows that Duterte is not in the mood to visit evacuation centers and might just end up cursing and throwing the relief goods to the people!”

Wrote @KowboySantos: “[P]eople are asking, ‘is that how less they think of people??’ after Bong Go shows up with a Duterte impersonator and makes people wait for hours before distributing relief goods. [T]he answer is, No. its actually much worse. [T]hey made you think that Duterte could be president.”

Someone who said he lives in Marikina said that indeed Go visited the town, along with actor Philip Salvador. @JoshSimplicated wrote: “I think they should have sent Gloria’s, PNoy’s, Ramos’, Erap’s look-alike so that it’s a tie. LOL.”

Duterte critic @indayevarona noted how Marikina’s residents were not amused by Go’s visit. She wrote: “Applause was tepid, laughter muted. If anything, that substitute just highlighted how Duterte made himself scarce at a time of crisis. What will Bong Go do next — stuff jokes down the throats of starving farmers?”

So where is the real President Duterte? According Go, the president was in Davao on Saturday then arrived at the Malacañang Palace on Sunday. Duterte initially wanted to conduct an aerial survey of the flooded areas but canceled plans due to inclement weather.

Thanks to Duterte’s noticeable absence, the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo (“Where is the president?”) trended on Twitter after netizens criticized him for failing to appear in public during the calamitous past few days.

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know by tweeting to @CoconutsManila.

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