Bong Go says relief goods with his name came from private sector

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 6) — There's no politicking in efforts to help Manila fire victims, Special Assistant to the President Bong Go said Friday, as he doused speculation by some that he has begun a premature campaign for a Senate seat.

Go said the relief goods bearing his name, which circulated online, did not come from him.

"Meron rin po akong mga kaibigan, may foundation po na tumulong at nagdala ng sarili nilang sapatos at grocery packs na itulong doon sa mga nasunugan," he said. "Iba ang tulong yung pribado, iba yung tulong galing sa gobyerno."

[Translation: I have friends, there's a foundation that helped and brought their own shoes and grocery packs to victims of the fire. Support from the private sector is different from that from the government.]

While Go said he appreciated his supporters' effort, he asked them to avoid putting his name on donations — except one.

"Ieencourage ko po na... huwag niyo pong lagyan ng pangalan ko, puwera lang yung Sapatos ni SAP kasi programa ko na 'yan e," said Go.

[Translation: I would encourage them... not to place my name there, save for the shoes from SAP because that's my program.]

Go's "Sapatos ni SAP, Tsinelas Ka-Swap" program, which donates shoes to communities, was launched in June according to a state news outlet.

The relief goods are the latest in Go's growing presence in the public eye. The assistant, who became a meme after his selfies with world leaders went viral, was included in the list of possible senatorial candidates for 2019 under the ruling PDP-Laban party last April.

Some observers have noted billboards featuring Go, prompting speculation on an early campaign — way ahead of the prescribed Commission on Election (Comelec) campaign period.

In June, hip hop group Ex-Battalion even posted what many netizens saw as a campaign jingle for Go, detailing reasons to vote for him in a rendition of their hit "Hayaan Mo Sila."

The aide maintained he would not run for now — which is why he sees nothing wrong with all these banners bearing his name and face.

"Wala naman sigurong nilagay dun na iboto di ba... hindi naman ako nangangampanya, wala naman akong sinabing tatakbo ako, wala sigurong violation na gingagawa doon," said Go.

[Translation: There wasn't even an urge to vote, right? ... I'm not campaigning, I never said I was running, so I don't think there's a violation there.]

However, if he did decide to run, Go said he would comply with the law and Comelec guidelines.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Triciah Terada contributed to this report.