MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon on Thursday mistakenly called Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go as "secretary," saying he committed the gaffe as the lawmaker still acts "as a secretary" to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Gordon made the remark while recognizing Go for his turn to ask questions during the Department of Foreign Affairs' budget hearing in the Senate.
"Secretary Go has requested me if he could immediately come in because he has another appointment to go to," Gordon said during the virtual hearing.
"Secretary Go is recognized," he said.
The lawmaker from Davao, who served as Duterte's longtime aide, corrected Gordon, saying: "Sir, ginawa niyo akong secretary ulit."
(Sir, you made me a secretary again.)
Gordon quickly apologized for the blunder.
"I'm sorry... You speak all the time with the President and [when] you're there, you act as a secretary. Here, you are a senator," he told Go.
"Thank you very much [for the correction], and I'm sorry," he said.
Go responded light-heartedly, saying, "Okay lang po. Bong Go lang po, Sir."
A senator since last year, Go is also known as the "Pambansang Photobomber" (National Photobomber) for frequently posting selfies, with Duterte, international leaders and celebrities in the background.
Despite being elected as senator, Go continues to accompany Duterte in most of his official functions, and updates the media and the public about the President's schedule, pronouncements and activities.