SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go urged members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to unite and further strengthen efforts in support of the Duterte administration’s goal of providing a more comfortable life for all Filipinos amid these challenging times.
Go said in an interview on Tuesday, July 21, while visiting fire victims in Davao City, that he hopes the situation within the party will improve now that a new group of officers has already been chosen.
“Ang importante rito nakapag-national assembly, nakapili na tayo ng bagong Presidente at ng new set of officers. Ako naman po, dati na po ako national auditor na re-elect lang po ako,” said Go.
On Saturday, July 17, at its national assembly in Clark, Pampanga, the members of the ruling party elected Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi as the next party president. President Rodrigo Duterte, as Chairman of the party, commended members of PDP-Laban for their continuing trust and confidence in helping the government lead the country towards recovery amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to strengthen the party. Strengthen in the sense na kailangan po’y magkaisa at hindi po magkawatak-watak,” said the Senator, adding that he is willing to step up as mediator between factions within the party if necessary.
“Ako, I am willing to be the mediator dito. Kung kakailanganin pong magpagitna ako for the sake of the unity of the party ay willing po ako magpagitna dito sa PDP. Lalung-lalo na po paparating na po ang filing,” said Go.
“Napakalakas po ng partido, majority party po ito sa Senado, sa Kongreso and even down to the local level. Madami pong miyembro, mahigit isang daang libong miyembro po ito. Sayang po ang partido kapag nagkawatak-watak po at hindi nagkaisa,” he added.
Go also warned his fellow PDP-Laban members not to squander the gains made in the past years in building a strong political party that continues to instill positive change in the country as promised by the President.
“‘Yung partidong ito ay maliit lang po ito halos isang jeep lang po ito, ngayon po isang katutak na bus na po ang partido. Huwag ho nating sayangin ‘yung ating paglalakbay. Ito po ang tumulong kay Pangulong Duterte, nagluklok sa kanya bilang presidente,” Go pointed out.
“Sana po, as part of the continuity ng ating gobyerno ay maging malaki at malakas pa rin po ang PDP-Laban… Sana magkaisa po ‘yung mga miyembro… ayaw ko pong magkaroon pa ng faction, mas gusto ko pong tawagin itong solid na partido,” he added.
Meanwhile, Go clarified that while many senate aspirants have signified their intent to be part of the administration slate for the 2022 senatorial elections, the list has not been finalized yet.
“Mayroon pong mga siyam na cabinet members, mayroon pong mga re-electionist, at mayroon din pong mga come-backing senators na gusto pong luminya sa ating mahal na Pangulo. At mayroon din pong mga baguhang pangalan na gusto pong sumama sa Senate slate ng ating mahal na Pangulo,” Go said in a separate statement.
“As of now, wala pa pong final list. ‘Yung inilabas ni Governor Evardone, ay initial list lang po iyon base sa mga diskusyon with the party members,” he added.
Go assured that President Duterte will choose his candidates well in line with the vision of continuing the positive change that the current administration has worked hard for the past years.
“Sa aking personal na opinyon, pipili si Pangulong Duterte ng mga kandidato na naka-linya sa legislative agenda na hangaring maipagpatuloy yung mga magagandang pagbabago na nasimulan ng ating mahal na Pangulong Duterte,” he said.
“At higit sa lahat, pipiliin niya ‘yung mga taong inuuna parati ang kapakanan ng taumbayan at yung intensyon na makapagserbisyo lalo sa sambayanang Pilipino,” he stressed.
Go however reiterated that the focus now of the President and his administration is on strengthening COVID-19 response and economic recovery measures.
“Ngunit sa ngayon, naka-focus po kami ni Pangulong Duterte sa COVID-19 response at economic recovery measures. Ito muna ang pagtuunan natin ng pansin. Bakuna muna, bago ang politika,” he said.
Bong Go stresses need for vigilance vs Delta variant
SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go advised Filipinos to strictly comply with health and safety protocols and to remain vigilant, warning them about the Delta variant of COVID-19.
During his visit to fire victims in Davao City on Tuesday, July 20, Go explained that the Delta variant is more dangerous and contagious, citing the current situation in Indonesia which has recently overtaken India as the epicenter of the pandemic in Asia.
“Itong Delta variant, delikado po talaga ito. Since meron na pong local cases, ‘wag na nating hintayin na magkaroon ng local transmission. Posible po ang local transmission kasi local cases meron pong nahawa. Ayaw natin mangyari na magiging out of control na po tulad ng nangyari sa Indonesia,” said Go.
“Tignan n’yo po ang nangyari sa bansang Indonesia, tumaas ang kaso dahil mabilis po ang pagkahawa nitong Delta variant. Four times more contagious, 40 to 60 percent po na nakakahawa than any other variant. Importante po dito, huwag tayong magkumpiyansa. Kailangan po disiplina ng bawat Pilipino,” he added.
The Department of Health, on Tuesday, reported that eight new cases of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant tested positive following retesting. Two of the cases were returning overseas Filipinos, one in Misamis Oriental, and four from Cagayan de Oro. Meanwhile, a case was also reported in capital city Manila.
Go appealed for continued discipline and cooperation from all Filipinos when it comes to following health and safety regulations, regardless of the community’s quarantine status imposed in their areas.
“Uulitin ko, disiplina ng bawat Pilipino, kooperasyon ng bawat Pilipino, at huwag maging kumpyansa,” urged Go.
“Bagama’t bakunado na kayo, ‘di ibig sabihin pwede na kayong hindi sumunod sa mga health protocol dahil maaaring ang katabi n’yo ay hindi pa nababakunahan at maaaring sila po ang mahawaan ng Delta variant at ‘di na natin ma-kontrol,” said Go.
The Senator said that the country cannot afford to go back to zero and apply tougher restrictions, as this would have a significant negative impact on the economy.
“Mahirap pong mag back to zero uli, ECQ, apektado ang ekonomiya, marami po ang mawawalan ng trabaho, maraming negosyo ang magsasara, tataas na naman po ang unemployment rate natin, at babagsak ang ating ekonomiya,” said Go.
“Sayang po, medyo maganda na po ang ating estado ngayon kumpara noong Marso at Abril dahil ang Metro Manila, regular GCQ na. Nakapagbubukas na po ang ibang negosyo at meron na pong nakakabalik na sa trabaho, ‘yun po ang importante dito balansehin muna natin ang economy and health,” he added.
The President has recently agreed to put Metro Manila and surrounding provinces under regular General Community Quarantine after its previous quarantine status ended on July 15. The national capital will remain in the classification until July 31.
The Senator emphasized, however, that the government will always prioritize the health of Filipinos as it tries to balance the economy and keeping the healthcare system afloat.
“Pero importante po ang health dahil pag apektado ang healthcare system natin, kapag puno ang ospital, bagsak na naman ang ating ekonomiya, magsasara na naman po ang ating ekonomiya,” said Go.
Meanwhile, Go said that programs boosting the country’s economic recovery will remain as the main priority of Duterte and the government.
“Sa ngayon talaga itong economic recovery talaga pinakaimportante. Lahat naman ay susunod na po d’yan dahil nasa gitna pa tayo ng pandemya,” said Go.
The Senator added that the country will only go back to normal once population protection and eventually herd immunity have been achieved.
“‘Di ko pa masasabi na lampas na tayo until ma-achieve na natin ang population protection o herd immunity,” he noted.
Go emphasized that the Duterte administration will continue to pursue measures to strengthen the fight against COVID-19, as well as the campaign against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality until the end of the term.
“So, ‘yun po ang focus ng ating mahal na Pangulo and, of course, ito pong peace and security,” he ended.