Whenever you see Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, he’s often accompanied by his “special assistant,” Christopher “Bong” Go.
While he calls himself merely as Duterte’s “utility man,” Go is quite powerful in his own right — for how else can you explain the fact that former presidential daughter Kris Aquino asked him to mediate during her tiff with Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson?
Unsurprisingly, Go is now rumored to have higher political ambitions, supposedly planning to run for senator next year. While he refuses to confirm this, a music video posted last week has only fueled the rumors.
The video, posted on Facebook by the Philippines’ top rap group Ex Battalion, is a promotional jingle for Go.
The song is a rehash of Ex Battalion’s song titled Hayaan Mo Sila (Let Them Be), which happens to be one of the biggest hits to emerge from last year.
The jingle describes Go in Filipino as “hardworking, simple, humble.” He’s also a man who’s “against wrongdoing,” and a “real person.”
Whether or not this was commissioned by Go himself, it’ll surely help in his campaign (if he does decide to run).
In the Philippines, a wannabe politician needs to have a jingle, and the catchier it is, the better. It’s a necessary ingredient to successfully market a candidate, aside from high-profile endorsements from actors and memorable TV commercials.
Campaign jingles are blasted in every campaign stop. It’s the song that the candidate is supposed to sing (or in this case, rap) in each campaign show. It’s the song that the public — for better or worse — will associate with a candidate.
But as catchy as the Ex Batallion jingle is, it’s problematic because it was released way before campaign season.
Next year’s midterm elections, which will elect senators along with other government positions, will be held in May but the official campaign period will only start in February.
And this isn’t the only content that seems to be promoting Go. Some unofficial social media accounts have also shared promotional banners like this:
“Go” jerseys and banners have also been spotted by some netizens. Take a look at these ones shared on Reddit:
However, these are technically permissible because they do not explicitly invite people to vote for him.
So what is it, Go? Are you running or not?