MANILA - Actor Robin Padilla has taken to social media to prove that Hugpong ng Pagbabago senatorial candidate Christopher "Bong" Go has no tattoo, debunking claims that he has links to illegal drugs.
On Instagram, Padilla posted several photos of him with Go showing his bare back, apparently again belying claims he had a dragon tattoo that would allegedly prove his links to the drug trade.
Writing in Filipino, Padilla hit those who had a penchant for "making up stories" and said he was also interested to know the truth.
"Kaya eto ko nagimbal sa nakita ko sa likod ni BONG GO! Hindi po tattoo kundi bentosa ng ambularyo ang bumulaga sa akin hahahhahah ang bentosa ay kapatid ng Hilot paraan ito ng ating mga katutubong Pilipino sa pag gamot ng kanilang mga lamig sa katawan at pilay," Padilla said.
(I was shocked to see what's on Bong Go's back! It was not a tattoo but bentosa (cupping marks) from healers, a traditional Filipino way to treat muscle strain and spasms.)
In the photos taken on a beach, Padilla could be seen pointing to Go's back. The actor also shared other photos of Go with local children.
During a press conference on April 10, Go had taken his shirt off on the sidelines of a Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) campaign rally in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. It was his response to a YouTube video that accused him of having a tattoo that allegedly bore an alphanumeric code of his drug transactions.
The same accuser had also tagged President Rodrigo Duterte's son Paolo Duterte in the illegal drug trade, also alleging he had a tattoo on his back to prove this. His sister, HNP chief campaigner Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, has defended his choice not to show his back, citing privacy.
In the same Instagram post, Padilla also thanked supporters who he said cheered them on while they practiced on jet skis, saying they were willing to support opposition bets if they would make good on their word to visit the disputed South China Sea.
"Hahahahhah seriously," Padilla wrote.
"Kapag naghamon kayo 'yun totohanin niyo sapagkat hindi ko kayo aatrasan. 'Wag natin idamay ang pangulo o ang sandatahang lakas para hindi maging state-sponsored movement kundi patriotism lang," an outspoken supporter of the administration.
(If you pose a challenge, make sure you do it because I will not back down. Let us not involve the president or the Armed Forces so it won't become state-sponsored movement, just patriotism.)
On Monday, the Philippine Coast Guard barred Otso Diretso senatorial candidates former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno from going to resource-rich Scarborough Shoal in the contested waters when they took their campaign to Masinloc town in Zambales.
Malacañang has called the Otso Diretso dare a public stunt, but opposition Senate bets said they were only calling out the President for a promise that he made during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would ride a jet ski to the Spratly Islands and plant a Philippine flag there to defend the country's sovereignty.
Padilla also warned opposition bets to be careful when issuing a challenge.
"Magdahan dahan kayo sa kahahamon dahil may tunay na Katipunero dito sa hanay ni Mayor PRRD (Go easy on posing challenges because there's a real Katipunero behind Mayor PRRD (President Duterte)... I am ready, just tell me when otso otso...I am willing to die for my country and for my people. I'm begging you otso otso let's do this and be martyrd (sic)," he said.
Padilla portrayed Filipino patriot Andres Bonifacio, the chief Katipunero as founder and Supremo of revolutionary movement Katipunan, in the 2014 film "Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo."