Senator Christopher "Bong" Go has lauded House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for leading the filing of House Resolution No. 780, which defends former president Rodrigo Duterte's administration against the International Criminal Court's (ICC) probe into the killings related to his war on drugs.
Go, a staunch ally of the former leader, said he is thankful for the former president's intervention, and for the continuing support for Duterte.
“Unang-una, nagpapasalamat po ako kay dating pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at sa mga kasamahan niya sa Kongreso sa patuloy na tiwala at suporta kay dating pangulong Rodrigo Duterte (First of all, I thank former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her colleagues in Congress for their continued trust and support in former president Rodrigo Duterte)," said Go in an ambush interview after personally aiding struggling residents in Quezon City on Friday, February 17.
Go reiterated that Duterte merely acted in the best interest of the nation, its citizens, as well as to protect the future of younger generations of Filipinos.
“Ako po bilang senador at naging parte po ng administrasyon ni dating pangulong Duterte bago ako naging senador, alam ko naman po na ginawa lang po ni (dating) pangulong Duterte ang kanyang sinumpaang tungkulin para po sa kaligtasan ng ating mga anak. Alam n’yo, ginawa n’ya po ang sakripisyo para po ‘yon sa future ng ating mga anak (As a senator and I was part of the administration of former president Duterte before I became a senator, I know that (former) president Duterte only did his sworn duty for the safety of our children. You know, he made the sacrifice for the future of our children," stressed Go.
Go reiterated that it is the Filipino people who should judge the implementation and results of the Philippine drug war, not a foreign court.
“Kayo na po ang humusga. Hayaan na natin ang taumbayan ang humusga, kung mas nakakalakad ba kayo sa gabi na hindi nababastos ang inyong mga anak at hindi nasasaktan. Ginawa po ni (dating) pangulong Duterte ang lahat ng kanyang makakaya at sakripisyo para po sa kinabukasan ng ating mga anak (You be the judge. Let's let the people judge, whether you can walk better at night without your children being rude and without getting hurt. (former) President Duterte did everything he could and sacrificed for the future of our children," said Go.
“Gaya ng sinabi ko noon, hayaan na lang natin ang ating kapwa Pilipino at hindi po ang banyaga para humusga sa ginawa n’ya po noong unang panahon (As I said before, let's just let our fellow Filipinos and not foreigners judge what he did in the old days)," he added.
As a lawyer himself, Go said Duterte would prefer to be tried and judged by his fellow Filipinos in a Philippine court under Philippine laws.
“Bakit ibang bayan po ang huhusga sa atin, eh, may sarili naman tayong batas? At ako po ay naniniwala at may tiwala po ako sa ating judicial system (Why do other people judge us, eh, we have our own laws? And I believe and have confidence in our judicial system)," he added.
“Buhay na buhay ang demokrasya sa ating bansa, mayroon tayong rule of law na pinapairal, at may sarili naman tayong mga korte na nananatiling malaya at mapagkakatiwalaan (Democracy is alive and well in our country, we have the rule of law that is enforced, and we have our own courts that remain independent and trustworthy)," he explained further.
Together with 18 other legislators, Arroyo filed HR 780, titled “A Resolution In Defense of former President Duterte, the 16th President of the Philippines, Against Investigation and/or Prosecution of the ICC.”
The resolution cited the many accomplishments of the Duterte government as a result of its “holistic and whole of nation approach in ending insurgency and curbing the drug menace in the country.”
The Philippines withdrew its membership in the ICC in 2019.
Asked if a similar resolution will be filed in the Senate, Go said he will leave it up to his colleagues to decide.
“Mas mabuti po sigurong ang iba kong kasamahan kasi self-serving (kung ako). Dati po kaming magkasama ni (former) president Duterte (My other colleagues are probably better because they are self-serving (if I am). We used to be together with (former) president Duterte)," Go said.
"Basta ako po, ‘yun po ang aking statement bilang senador — ginawa po ni (dating) pangulong Duterte ang lahat ng kanyang makakaya para sa ikabubuti ng bansa,” the senator maintained.