President Duterte's special aide proud of his selfies with world leaders

Christopher Lawrence Go, Special Assistant to Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, taking a selfie with US President Donald Trump.
Christopher Lawrence Go, Special Assistant to Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, taking a selfie with US President Donald Trump.PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER BONG GO/FACEBOOK

MANILA (WASHINGTON POST) - Christopher Lawrence Go is special assistant to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. He is also a something of a selfie savant known for snapping pictures of himself with just about every person he meets - with or without their permission.

At a meeting of Asean leaders in Manila this week, Mr Go, who goes by the nickname "Bong Go," had the opportunity to meet a lot of famous people. Did he rise to the occasion? Yes, he did.

On Monday, shortly after President Donald Trump met with Mr Duterte for high-stakes discussion that may or may not have included human rights, Mr Go published a trove of snaps, including a doozy of a portrait with the United States president.

Taking an evocative picture with Mr Trump would have satisfied most men. But not Mr Go.

Lest his fans interpret the Trump snap as of sign that the Philippines is no longer "separating" from the US - as Mr Duterte proclaimed last year - Mr Go also got a picture with China's premier Li Keqiang.

Posing with the likes of Shinzo Abe of Japan, Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Russia's Dmitry Medvedev, among many, many, others, would have exhausted most men.

Mr Go was not close to finished, pursuing the selfie-lover's showpiece: a picture with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Ceding to Mr Trudeau's well-known selfie expertise, Mr Go let the photogenic Canadian prime minister take the picture for him. And what a picture.

Monday's shots are, in some ways, a departure for Mr Go, who rose to fame as a photobomber, not a photographer par excellence.

Among Filipinos, Mr Go is famous for inserting himself in pictures of people who do not know he is there. The Philippine press dubbed him the "national photobomber."

And it's not just about his smug mug. With press access limited, Mr Go sometimes gives the world its first or only glimpse of what goes on behind close doors at high-level meetings. Over the weekend, he dutifully posted the first photograph of Mr Duterte and Mr Trump.

As Mr Go told The Philippines Daily Inquirer: "Those are very important to me. I am just an ordinary government employee and there I was, taking selfies with them who are very powerful people," he said.

Mr Go has been Mr. Duterte's close aide since 1998.