Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go said Thursday that he respects the decision of Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to abrogate a 1989 agreement with the University of the Philippines (UP) prohibiting the uncoordinated entry of military and police officers in UP campuses.
In an interview right after he visited and distributed assistance to fire victims in Taytay, Rizal, Go said that Lorenzana’s move is only upholding what is best for the welfare of the community and its students, some of whom are reportedly being recruited to join subversive groups involved in armed struggle intended to incite rebellion and overthrow the government.
“Ako naman, nirerespeto ko po ang desisyon ng Secretary of National Defense. Hindi naman po lahat, iilan diyan talagang ginagamit po, nakikita niyo naman po, ilan sa kanila nanawagan na pabagsakin ang gobyerno,” Go said.
“Alam naman natin na ginagamit din po ang iilan diyan sa loob ng UP para turuan silang pabagsakin ang gobyerno,” he added.
(I respect the decision of the Secretary National Defense. Only a few are being used to overthrow the government)
Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, said that he supports the decision of Lorenzana, calling on the students not to worry as he assured that the rule of law would always be upheld, especially in promoting the welfare and freedom of expression of all Filipinos.
“Pero wala naman silang dapat ikabahala. ‘Di naman aabot sa puntong mang-aabuso ang ating mga kasundaluhan. I trust our soldiers. I trust our policemen and women,” Go said.
(They don’t have to worry. It will not come to a point that soldiers would commit abuses)
He also said that the military and police would always enforce the rule of law in fulfilling their duties.
“Walang dapat ikatakot. Respetado ang military at kapulisan ngayon,” he added.
(There is nothing to fear. The military and police are respected now)
Go urged students and youth groups to focus on their studies and finish their education so that they could help the government and contribute further to the country’s development as “Iskolars ng Bayan” (Scholars of the Nation).
“Hindi naman kayo pinag-aral para pabagsakin ang gobyerno, mag-aral po kayo, makapagtapos at tumulong kayo sa ating gobyerno,” Go said.
(You do not go to school to bring down the government. Study, and when you graduate, help our government)
“Alam naman natin na ginagamit din po ang iilan d’yan sa loob ng UP para turuan silang pabagsakin ang gobyerno,” he lamented.
(We know that there are UP insiders who teach how to bring down the government)
Go, a former Special Assistant to President Duterte, also appealed to them to also uphold the rule of law and respect the democratic institutions.
He added that the administration of President Duterte has a fixed term after being elected in an open and fair election and those against it may exercise their democratic right to pick their own leaders in 2022.
“Meron naman pong fixed term ang ating Pangulo. Respetuhin n’yo po ito dahil matatapos ang ating Pangulo hanggang 2022. Kung gusto n’yo po, eh, ‘di kayo ang tumakbo pagdating ng 2022. ‘Wag lang pong umabot sa puntong maghihimagsik, aabot na po sa rebelyon, aabot na po sa pabagsakin ang gobyerno,” Go said.
(The President has a fixed term. Respect this because his term ends in 2022. If you want, why not run in 2022. It should not reach a point that there would be a revolution, reaching rebellion to cause government to fall)
“Ako naman, nirerespeto ko po ang freedom of expression, karapatan ng ating kabataan, ‘wag lang po pabagsakin ang gobyerno,” he added, emphasizing that freedom of expression is a basic right that is protected and promoted by this government.
(I respect the freedom of expression, rights of the young, just do not bring down the government)