Bong Go

Bong Go pushes provision of free legal aid for uniformed personnel

July 15, 2022 People's Journal 246 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go renewed his push for his proposed legislative measure that would provide free legal assistance to all uniformed personnel, giving them necessary support when they face charges from incidents related to their official duties.

“Palaging nasa frontline natin ang ating mga kapulisan at mga sundalo sa kampanya ng pamahalaan upang masiguro na ligtas ang ating mga mamamayan mula sa banta ng mga kriminal, lalo na ang mga drug syndicates at mga terorista,” noted Go.

“Minsan, kahit sa pagtupad nila ng kanilang tungkulin, sila ay nakakasuhan o nasususpinde nang hindi nabibigyan ng pagkakataon na idepensa ang sarili ayon sa nakasaad sa batas,” he added.

Senator Go reiterated his utmost confidence to the country’s uniformed personnel, citing how the measure can significantly reassure them of legal support as long as they perform their duties in accordance with the law.

“Alam naman po natin gaano kabigat ang responsibilidad ng ating mga sundalo, pulis, at iba pang uniformed personnel. Paminsan, sa nais lamang nilang gampanan ang kanilang tungkulin, sila pa ang iniipit at nakakasuhan kapag may nakakabanggang mga maimpluwensiyang tao,” Go said.

“Ito ang rason kung bakit nais nating bigyan sila ng sapat na suportang legal upang maproteksyunan nila ang kanilang sarili basta nasa tama sila at ginagampanan ang kanilang tungkulin na naaayon sa batas,” he expressed.

If passed into law, any officer or enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), who is facing before the prosecutor’s office, court or any competent body, any charge arising from an incident related to the performance of official duty shall be entitled to free legal assistance.

“Malayo na ang narating natin sa pagpapalakas ng integridad at pagbalik ng respeto sa ating kapulisan at kasundaluhan. Dahil ito sa suporta ng dating administrasyong Duterte sa kanila na nais nating maipagpatuloy,” expressed Go.

“Kung maalala niyo po, isa rin po ito sa mga panukalang binigyang-diin ni dating pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa kaniyang mga huling State of the Nation Address. Talaga pong mahalaga para sa kaniya ang kapakanan nila dahil sila ang pumoprotekta sa kaayusan ng bansa,” he stressed.

According to the proposed measure, the Chief of Staff of the AFP, the Chairperson of the National Police Commission or the Chief of the PNP shall authorize the legal office of their respective agencies, with the assistance of the Public Attorneys Office, to provide legal aid.

“Sa pagbibigay natin ng free legal assistance, malaking tulong na po ito sa ating mga sundalo at mga pulis na patuloy ang pagsasakripisyo ng kanilang buhay para lang ma-protektahan ang ating bansa,” underscored Go.

“Like any other sector of the society, our military and police, should not be denied access to legal assistance which they may need as a consequence of the faithful performance of their official duties,” he cited.

The senator then expressed hope that the new administration will continue the Duterte legacy of uplifting the lives of the country’s frontliners. He vowed that he will remain focused on supporting the country’s uniformed personnel and other frontliners, stressing that their interests will always be part of his priorities.

In this regard, the lawmaker also filed a bill that provides a magna carta for Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency personnel, a bill on e-governance, and a measure seeking to enact the “Magna Carta for Barangays”.

Even before taking a seat in the Senate, Go, who was the Special Assistant to then president Duterte, was instrumental in pushing for the salary increase of all military and uniformed personnel in the government.

Acknowledging that uniformed personnel bravely protect the country at all costs, former president Duterte signed Joint Resolution No. 1 in 2018 which doubled the base pay of a Private in the AFP, Police Officer I in the PNP, and their equivalent ranks in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Public Safety College, and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.

Go also commended law enforcers as they were able to rebuild public trust and improve their image in the public eye through their dedication to serve and values of discipline and integrity.

“Ngayon po, ang mga pulis natin, iginagalang, nirerespeto at nalalapitan. Hindi po magiging successful ang kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, at ilegal na droga kung hindi po dahil sa tulong ng ating mga pulis,” said Go.

“Alam niyo, masakit sa loob namin ni dating Pangulong Duterte na nakikita ‘yung pulis na nakatiwangwang diyan, nauunahan po ng mga drug addict… Hindi po kami papayag ng ganoon, i-secure niyo po ang sarili ninyo basta nasa tama lang po kayo suportado namin kayo,” he added.

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