De Lima finds Bong Go pre-election campaign as ‘highly irregular and questionable’

Published January 11, 2019, 4:37 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Mario Casayuran

As a former election lawyer, detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima said Friday she finds the pre-election campaigning style of Christopher “Bong’’ Go  as “highly irregular and questionable.’’

“Go’s aura of untouchability ought to offend our rudimentary sense of fair play,’’ de Lima said in a statement sent from her Philippine National Police (PNP) detention center.

Senator Leila de Lima (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Leila de Lima

“Bong Go is everywhere, inescapable in all sizes and in all forms. There has been an ongoing invasion of public spaces by his tarpaulins and expensive billboards, and on TV, radio, print and social media, he’s ubiquitous these past months. He obviously has a well-oiled electoral machinery. But where does he get the funds?’’ she asked.

Go is seeking a slot in the 24-member Senate through the coming May 2019 mid-term elections.

De Lima said she finds it hard to swallow that Go does all these even way before the start of the official campaign period, taking advantage of a gap in our election laws and jurisprudence which tolerates premature campaigning.

What is clear is that Bong Go follows the template of Epal politics, one that is full of lavish or immoderate display of him signifying nothing. But his case is so brazen in its utter lack of delicadeza, she pointed out.

“He is supposed to have resigned already as Special Assistant to the President (SAP) when he filed his certificate of candidacy. But why is he always with Digong to attend events practically acting as his official cameraman and Twitter/Socmed guy?’’ she pointed out.

“It’s even akin to usurpation of authority, since someone else is supposed to have taken already his previous functions as SAP. But since he continues to act as Duterte’s super alalay, it is safe to presume that public funds are also expended while he is campaigning early… and still assuming the SAP role,’’ de Lima, a former Justice Secretary during the Aquino administration, said.

“I read in the news about a project financed through government funds but it was “[f]ormer Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go [who] led representatives from various government agencies” in launching the project. This is just one among government projects he attended, and led, with an enlarged photo of his face as the event’s backdrop, and the event’s name placed below in smaller font, complete with his own campaign jingles,’’ she added.

“And so gracious of him to be regularly distributing dole outs and relief goods, laden with his name and campaign color, in almost all calamity-stricken areas. But again, I ask, are the millions of pesos expended for these sourced from Bong Go’s personal funds or otherwise?’’ she asked.