CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Former Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said a Senate seat should be utilized to help uplift the lives of the Filipino people.
Go, after a motorcade around this city, also vowed to continue the programs and policies of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Ipagpapatuloy ko yung pagbabagong sinimulan niya, kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, kampanya laban sa corruption sa gobyerno, kampanya laban sa iligal na droga. Susugpuin talaga namin ang iligal na droga. Kasama ko dito si Pangulong Duterte. Tutulungan ko siya dito sa tatlong yan at sa layuning mabigyan ng mas magandang kinabukasan ang mga Pilipino,” Go said. (I will continue the programs that he started – the fight against criminality, the fight against corruption in government, and the war on illegal drugs. We will put an end to the proliferation of illegal drugs. I will do this together with President Duterte. I will help him in the fight against the three scourges so we can provide a better future for Filipinos.)
Go was mobbed by supporters when he decided to eat in a carinderia (eatery) at the Cogon Market here after his motorcade around the city. Chants of “Go! Bong Go! Go! Bong Go!” echoed at the market when the customers realized the former SAP was taking his meal at one of the eateries.
“Salamat po sa mainit na pagsalubong sa amin, kasing init ng panahon ngayon. Nakakawala ng pagod at nakaka-inspire na magserbisyo para sa kapakanan ninyo,” Go said. (Thank you for the warm welcome, it was as warm as the prevailing temperatures. It inspires me to do more in serving you.)
Go assured that apart from the campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption, he also wants to improve the delivery of health services in the country, particularly through the law that would allow the establishment of Malasakit Center in more provinces and key urban areas of the country.
“Ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos. Wala po kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi magserbisyo para sa ikabubuti ng bawat Pilipino. Maraming salamat po,” he said. (Service to the people is a service to God. President Duterte and I only want to serve every Filipino)
Other priority concerns under Go’s legislative agenda include programs for agriculture, housing for the poor, education, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, the creation of a department for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and improved benefits for senior citizens.
In Marawi City, Go reaffirmed his solidarity with his Muslim brothers here as he vowed to help the city rise from the ashes of conflict.
“Masaya po ako na nakabalik muli kami dito sa Marawi. Alam nyo po sampung beses kaming bumalik ni Pangulong Duterte. Tulong-tulong po tayo na pabangunin ang Marawi. Bangon Marawi po, mabuhay po ang taga-Marawi,” Go said at a rally of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan at the Mindanao State University gym here. (I am so happy to be back in Marawi. Together, let’s help Marawi rise.)
He recalled that he has established a close relationship with Muslims while serving as assistant to then Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“Alam nyo, malapit po sa akin ang mga kapatid kong Muslim. Kada taon nagpapadala po si Pangulong Duterte ng mga nagha-hajj po sa Mecca nung Mayor pa po siya ng Davao City,” Go said. (My Muslim brothers are very close to me. In fact, every year, then Mayor Duterte would be sending some of them to Mecca for the hajj.)
“At ang ginagawa ko po, pinipili namin yung mga mosque na malayo at saka yung hindi talaga nakakapunta, yung wala pong pera..inuuna po namin yung mahihirap na hindi makaka-afford na pumunta po sa Mecca,” he added. (My role that time was to choose those who lived far away and could not afford to go to Mecca for the pilgrimage.)
Go stressed that Duterte treated Christians and Muslims equally in Davao City, noting the city has passed an Anti-Discrimination ordinance. “Ganun namin kamahal ang aming mga kapatid na Muslim sa Davao.” (That’s how much we value our Muslim brothers.)
Actor Robin Padilla, a Muslim convert, appealed to his brothers in Marawi to support Go’s senatorial bid, as well as the chosen candidates of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Padilla disclosed that Go was instrumental in allowing him to provide assistance to them despite the strict military security in place after the Marawi siege.
“Labas masok ako sa Marawi kahit curfew, naghahanap kami ng evacuation center para paglagyan ng tubig. Alam nyo ba kung sino ang nagbigay sa akin ng go signal para makapasok at labas sa Marawi para makatulong kami? Mga mahal kong kapatid, si Bong Go po yun, yung SAP natin,” Padilla said. (I was able to go in and out of Marawi even when curfew was strictly enforced, to look for evacuation centers and provide water to the people. Do you know who gave me the go signal so I could go in and out of Marawi to help people? It was Bong Go.)
He noted that he was assisted in his effort by the police, the military, and members of the Bangon Marawi task force because of Go.
“Huwag niyo po akong tignan bilang isang pulitiko kundi bilang kapatid. At ang pinakikiusap ko sa eleksyon, bomoto kayo ng straight, lahat ng kaalyado ni Presidente Duterte, iboto ninyo. Unang-una na siyempre, yung aking best friend si Bong Go,” Padilla said. (Don’t look at me as a politician but as a brother. My request is for you to vote straight the candidates of President Duterte. But make my best friend Bong Go, number one on your list.)