Duterte & Go

Bong Go:‘More than just legislators, senators are public servants’

September 2, 2021 People's Tonight 374 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go emphasized that he will continue to serve the public as an elected senator while helping the Duterte administration achieve its goals particularly in delivering public services to the most needy and providing a more comfortable life for all Filipinos as promised by the President.

He maintained that his closeness to President Rodrigo Duterte is a non-issue when it comes to fulfilling his mandate.

In his privilege speech on Tuesday, August 31, Go hit back at fellow senator Richard Gordon who criticized his relationship with the President and his regular appearances beside Duterte. Go said that while Gordon finds it abhorrent that he continues to act like an ”executive assistant” to the president, the latter seems to have no problem with it when asking for favors.

“I noticed that nobody seemed to complain about my proximity to the President when you would have me say something to him or ask him to do something for you. Tatawagan mo po ako, iparating mo kay Pangulo. Noon pa, walang reklamo,” said Go.

“Walang reklamo kapag ginagamit ninyo akong tulay sa ating Pangulo. Kapag hindi pabor sa inyo, pero kapag disadvantageous sa inyo, at ngayong malapit na ang eleksyon, bakit pupunahin ninyo? “ he added.

Go further mentioned that he does not hide his personal relationship with the President and that the Filipino public are aware of this even when he was elected to the Senate. He went on to say that he had never utilized such a connection to get favors for himself.

“’Yung relasyon namin at tiwala namin sa isa’t isa, nasa sa amin na iyon, pero tanggap ng taumbayan iyon dahil hindi ko naman iyan itinatago. At noong naihalal akong Senador, hindi ko ikinahiya na ako’y isang simpleng empleyado lang noon na binigyan po ng Panginoon ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa kapwa Pilipino. Hindi ko po sasayangin ‘yan,” he said.

“Gayunpaman, kailanman ay hindi ko ito ginamit para sa pansarili kong interes. Palagi kong inuuna ang interes po ng bayan at interes po ng kapwa ko Pilipino,” Go added.

Gordon, during a recent television interview, said that he finds it “abhorrent” for Go to “still act as the EA of the President.”

“May nagsasabi diyan, nagpapaka-EA daw ako. Hindi ko po ikinakahiya ‘yan, 1998 pa po ako nagtatrabaho sa kanya. Naging Senador na po ako ngayon, nagpapasalamat po ako kahit na isa lang po akong munting EA po,” said Go.

“Sa mga EA po, huwag kayo mawalan ng pag-asa, baka kayo rin po ay maging Senador pagdating ng panahon. Isa lang po ang natutunan ko na sana po ay matutunan ninyo — mahalin ninyo po ang inyong kapwa Pilipino — malay ninyo kayo rin po ay maging Senador. Hindi ko po ikinakahiya yan. At lalong hindi ko ikinakahiya na umalalay sa Pangulo hanggang ngayon dahil iisa lang po ang layunin namin — magserbisyo po,” Go exclaimed.

Despite helping the executive branch, Go explained that it has had no impact on his work in the Senate, noting that he had perfect attendance in the Congress’ second regular session.

“Higit sa lahat, kahit na malapit ako kay Pangulong Duterte, walang conflict sa trabaho ko ‘yan. In fact, I have a perfect attendance in the 2nd Regular Session, 69 out of 69,’ said Go.

“I want the public to know that I value the opportunity and privilege that they have given me to be here,” he added.

Go went on to say that he will not confine himself to the Senate’s four corners, noting that a senator’s work comprises legislation, representation and constituency services.

“Sabi ko nga, I will not limit myself to work within these halls. Binoto ako ng tao para katawanin sila, paano ko malalaman ano ang kailangan at mga hinaing nila kung nandito lang ako naka-upo,” said Go.

“Hindi ko ugali at hindi ko matiis na nakaupo lang po sa malamig na opisina, pa-relax-relax, nagpapalamig, nag-aantay ng kung sino ang pwedeng imbestigahan, nagpapalaki ng tiyan. Mas gusto ko pong lumapit sa tao dahil sila ang sineserbisyohan ko. Ganito na kami noon pa sa Davao. Siguro po ganito po magserbisyo ang tinatawag nilang mga probinsyano,” he ended.

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Bong Go refutes claims of any unethical behavior

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go said there is no ground to file an ethics case against him since his conscience is clean and that he has not committed any disorderly or unethical behavior that would merit such a case.

“Ako na po mismo nagsabi paulit ulit na kung may kasalanan, kasuhan at ikulong. Ano po ang unethical doon? Malinis po ang aking konsensya, wala akong tinatago at wala akong kinakatakot dahil wala naman akong ginagawang masama,” Go said.

“Isa lang po ang hangarin ko dito. Ang magserbisyo at tumulong sa kapwa kong Pilipino,” he added.

Go emphasized that for any ethics complaint against him to prosper, accusers should first have basis that a wrongdoing or disorderly behavior has been committed. He cited previous ethics cases filed against senators that did not even prosper.

“Yung iba nga dyan noon, kung ano anong kabastusan na ginawa laban sa kapwa habang senador. Tapos ako na nagsasabing ikulong ang dapat ikulong at kasuhan ang dapat kasuhan para managot ang dapat managot — ako pa ang kakasuhan ng ethics case?,” Go lamented.

Go responded to fellow senators Manny Pacquiao and Richard Gordon’s statements on the possibility of filing an ethics complaint against him in a statement released on September 1.

“I respect this institution that I belong to and I hope that fairness and due process will always be upheld in these halls. Kaya kung may mag-file man ng reklamo laban sa akin sa Committee on Ethics, rerespetuhin ko naman ang desisyon ng mga kapwa kong senador,” said Go.

The Senator went on to say that being probed is not a concern for him because he has nothing to hide.

“Kung gusto nila akong imbestigahan, imbestigahan po nila. Wala naman akong itinatago. Wala rin akong kinatatakutan dahil alam kong wala akong ginawang mali, lalo na pagdating sa disorderly o unethical behavior na sakop ng komiteng iyan,” said Go.

“Sabi ko nga kahapon, kung mapatunayan nilang sangkot ako sa anumang korapsyon — ni piso, I will resign. At kung napatunayan nilang may ginawa akong mali, tatanggapin ko kung anuman ang nasa batas o Senate rules,” he added.

Go said he could not say much more about the matter because no case has been filed. He did emphasize, though, that any complaint against a public official should be dealt with properly.

“Wala pa naman napa-file na reklamo sa ngayon kaya hindi pa ako makakapag-komento sa mga paratang nila. Pero gaya ng sinasabi ko noon pa, kung may alegasyon kayo, kasuhan ninyo gamit ang tamang proseso. At kung mapapatunayan na may maling nagawa, parusahan,” said Go.

“Walang pili po dapat ang hustisya. Pero hindi naman pwedeng haka-haka at patutsada lang. Ako ay nagtatrabaho ng matino. At ang tanging puhunan ko lang dito ay prinsipyo at pagseserbisyo sa kapwa ko Pilipino. Hinding-hindi ko ito sisirain,” he added.

Go said in a privilege speech on August 31 that if allegations of corruption against him are proven, he is willing to resign, maintaining that he stands by his name and character as a humble public servant from the province.

“Uulitin ko po, doon lang po tayo sa totoo. Maging patas po tayo. Kaunting respeto naman po sana mula sa kapwa Senador, kaya ako, Mr. President, kung ako mapatunayang sangkot sa kahit anong korapsyon ni piso, I will resign,” said Go.

“Ito lang po ang puhunan namin, pangalan at prinsipyo. Mga taga-Davao lang po kami dahil mahal po namin ang aming pagseserbisyo sa aming kapwa Pilipino,” he added.

He also reiterated and reminded his fellow senators of the zero tolerance policy of the Duterte Administration when it comes to fighting corruption.

“Basta’t napatunayang sangkot ka sa korapsyon, kahit sino ka man, kahit saan ka man nanggaling, dapat kang managot,” said Go.

“At tulungan natin si Pangulong Duterte, ipakulong po ang dapat ipakulong kung may kasalanan po,” he added.

Referring to the Senate’s Blue Ribbon Committee, Go also noted that the “Filipino people deserve fairness and due process” from an institution that is respected and plays a key role in the government’s anti-corruption efforts.

“The Filipino people deserve fairness and due process, most especially in a committee that we hold in high regard. Napaka-crucial (ng role) ng Blue Ribbon dahil aminado naman tayong lahat na para umunlad ang bansa, kailangan linisin ang gobyerno,” said Go.

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