Bong Go to run for president in 2022 polls

As PDP-PDDS strengthens their alliance

On Saturday, November 13, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go substituted for Grepor Belgica and filed his candidacy as the standard-bearer of the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan for the presidency in the May 2022 elections.

He was personally accompanied by President Rodrigo Duterte in the Commission on Elections main office in Intramuros, Manila.

“Wala na pong standard bearer ang ating administration. Sabi ko, I accepted the challenge. Kung kailangan ko pong mag step-up, alang-alang sa (administrasyon) at para lang po maipagpatuloy ‘yung pagbabagong inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte (ay gagawin ko),” Go said in an ambush interview after the filing.

“Mahal ko ang aking kapwa Pilipino, gusto ko pong magserbisyo sa kanila at pangako ko sa inyo, walang isang oras, walang minuto na masasayang, magseserbisyo ako sa inyong lahat,” he vowed.

The presidential aspirant explained that he strongly felt the need to step up to ensure the continuity of the reforms and vision of the Duterte Administration. He vowed to serve as a bridge between the government and the Filipino people—particularly the poor, hopeless and helpless—to ensure their needs are provided for, their concerns addressed, and their voices heard.

“Kailangan ko pong (umangat) para sa mga kapartido ko at sa sambayanang Pilipino, lalung-lalo na kay Pangulong Duterte. Kailangan ko pong bumangon para sa kanila. Kailangan kong ipaglaban (to) save the legacy, save the party, save the Filipino people. Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang pagbabago. Tuloy ang malasakit at tuloy ang serbisyo,” vowed Go.

“Ayaw naming masaktan si Tatay Digong dahil ayaw naming masaktan ang mga tatay natin na nagbigay ng buhay sa atin,” he added.

Go’s most recent decision came after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte filed her substitution papers for the vice presidency under Lakas-CMD party.

“Mahal ko si Pangulong Duterte. Ayaw kong mayroong masaktan at sumama ang loob. Kung kailangan kong umiwas, ako po ay umiiwas alang-alang na lang kay Pangulong Duterte at sa sambayanang Pilipino,” Go explained.

The senator also promised to work hard to accomplish the President’s remaining plans for the benefit of the Filipino people after Duterte’s term ends, adding that he will build on the positive changes initiated by the Duterte Administration.

“The Filipino people should eventually be the winner in this election. While we head towards that, I have to consider the stand of my political party, led by President Duterte, which will both help us achieve our objectives,” Go believed.

He specifically reaffirmed his commitment to the President’s crusade against illegal drugs, crime and corruption. He also pledged to push for the continuation of programs and projects that will bring about a more convenient, comfortable and prosperous life for all Filipinos.

“Ang puwede ko pong mai-offer sa kanila, ang puwede ko lang mai-offer sa Pilipino, ‘yung sipag ko po at pagseserbisyo sa aking kapwa Pilipino. ‘Yung totoong malasakit po, ‘yun lang. Ayaw ko pong magmayabang sa inyo, ‘di ko na po kailangan magmayabang sa kapwa ko Pilipino,” continued Go.

“Hintayin niyo na lang po kung resulta lang po. Kung trabaho ang pag-uusapan, bagama’t tatlong taon lang po akong senador, pero iyong nakikita ko pong ginagawa ni Pangulong Duterte na sakripisyo para sa bayan, sino pong magpapatuloy? Iyon po ang ipagpapatuloy ko,” he stressed.

On this note, the senator expressed his heartfelt gratitude to his and the President’s supporters. He expressed confidence in their ability to give the Filipino people the hope and the future that they deserve.

“Maraming salamat po sa mga supporters ko, sa mga nagpagod. Mahal na mahal ko po kayo. Hindi ko po kayo bibiguin. Magseserbisyo po ako sa inyo. Ayaw kong mangako, hindi ako pulitiko na mangangako. Hindi po ako pulitiko na mangangako rito, mangangako doon. Hintayin n’yo na lang po ang resulta ng aming pagtatrabaho ni Pangulong Duterte,” said Go.

In a separate statement, the PDP-Laban leadership announced that Senator Bato dela Rosa withdrew his certificate of candidacy for President under PDP-Laban to give way to Senator Bong Go’s candidacy for president under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan, or PDDS, which supported the candidacy of Senator Go in 2019.

As explained by PDP-Laban, Go filed his candidacy under PDDS as the leadership issue in PDP-Laban has yet to be resolved by the COMELEC.

“Nevertheless, PDP-Laban and PDDS are united in carrying one team for both our national and local candidates,” the statement said.

“The Alliance of PDP-Laban and PDDS is strong and will work tirelessly to push for continuity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s brand of leadership, which includes a tough stance against criminals, grafters, drug lords and terrorists, on the one hand, and a genuine concern for the masses, on the other,” it added.

According to the PDP-Laban statement, the PDP-PDDS Alliance has chosen Senator Go as its candidate for President because the senator carries with him a wealth of experience acquired from years of mentorship under President Duterte and is best suited to ensure continuity of President Duterte’s “Tapang at Malasakit” brand of leadership.

The alliance has also said that Go is endeared by the “Pangkaraniwang Pinoy” because of his own brand of Malasakit, which caters to the poorest of the poor. Go is also expected to continue President Duterte’s “Build Build Build” program—including mass railways projects, airports and seaports, and other infrastructure projects, all ensuring convenience of mobility to the masses.

Lastly, Senator Go is the most hardworking among all the candidates for President and lives up to his motto, “Ang BISYO ay MagSERBISYO”, according to the said statement.

PRRD considering Senate run to continue helping and serving Filipinos — Bong Go

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go stated that President Rodrigo Duterte is still considering running for a Senate seat in 2022, assuring the public that if elected, the president will continue to prioritize their welfare by helping and serving more Filipinos in need.

“He is considering, pinag-aaralan niyang mabuti. Kung makakatulong ba sa bayan… he might. Kino-consider n’ya po ‘yung pagtakbo,” said Go in an interview on Tuesday, November 2.

According to Go, Duterte is examining a number of factors before deciding whether or not to run, including his party’s, PDP-Laban, senatorial slate. Duterte is open to run if it will help administration candidates win, said the senator.
 
“Siyempre tinitingnan din niya ‘yung slate ng administration ng PDP. Kung makakatulong siya na mas maraming mananalo sa part ng administration, iyon ang kino-consider,” said Go.

“And of course, ‘yung pagseserbisyo sa bayan bilang inyong Tatay Digong. Ito proven and tested na po ‘yung kanyang pagseserbisyo sa ating mga kababayan hindi lang sa salita kung ‘di sa gawa,” he added.

President Duterte is being urged by his ruling party, the PDP-Laban, to run for senator in the 2022 elections. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, as party president, stated that attempts are being made to push Duterte to run for Senate next year.

Meanwhile, Go said that although President Duterte is more than qualified to be senate president if elected as senator, it is too early to discuss such possibilities especially since the Senate leadership is decided upon by a collegial body.
 
“Masyado pang maaga sigurong pag-usapan ‘yan dahil hindi naman natin alam kung sino ang mananalo, who will compose the majority. Kadalasan diyan ay pipiliin po ng majority. But, bilang former president ay napakalaking bagay ‘yon sa kanyang ah leadership ‘no, nanggaling sa pagka-presidente,” said Go.

“Siguro masasabi naman ni Pangulo na nabanggit niya kung ano ‘yung mga programa na makakatulong pa siya, na maipagpapatuloy ‘yung mga programa na magaganda na nakakabenepisyo naman sa mga kababayan natin ay isusulong niya rin po, dahil naging mambabatas na rin siya noon, naging congressman na rin po siya at naging presiding officer rin po siya ng… as vice mayor, twice sa Davao,” he added.

Go also confirmed that PDP-Laban officials would meet before November 15 to finalize their candidates for the forthcoming elections. He also stated that he has made up his mind on running for vice president.

“Yes. Parati namang nag-uusap ang PDP about that. Ako naman… sigurado na ‘ko. Kandidato na po ako at desidido na ‘ko diyan. Consistent naman ako, always po akong consistent kung ano po ‘yung sinabi ko. So, 100% dito na ko bilang kandidato as vice president,” said Go.
 
Meanwhile, Go assured that President Duterte will continue to work hard to promote and protect the welfare of the Filipino people.
 
“Sa mga kababayan natin, asahan n’yo po na kung sakaling magdesisyon po ang ating Pangulo na tumakbo bilang Senador, asahan n’yo po uunahin niya siyempre kung papaano siya makakatulong at makapagpatuloy na makapagserbisyo sa ating mga kababayan at paano niya maisusulongbat ipagpatuloy ‘yung mga programang naumpisahan na po niya na hindi pa po natatapos… gusto niya pong tapusin,” said Go adding that despite the upcoming election, their primordial concern now is overcoming the crisis.

“Importante po sa kanya ngayon is malampasan muna natin itong pandemya, itong krisis na ating kinakaharap, at makakatawid na po tayo sa ating normal na pamumuhay,” he ended.

House to probe Mindanao Railway Project


The House of Representatives is set to do an inquiry on the Mindanao Railway Project’s (MRP) expropriation and acquisition of the road right of way.

In House Resolution No. 2321, Representatives Paolo Z. Duterte and Eric Go Yap called for the investigation, in aid of legislation, on the Department of Transportation’s Mindanao Railway Project in particular the Phase 1 of the said project.

Phase 1 of MRP covers a 105-kilometer line that covers Davao del Norte, Davao City and Davao del Sur with eight stations located in Tagum City, Carmen, Panabo City, Mudiang, Davao Terminal, Toril, Sta. Cruz, and Digos City.

The two congressmen said that they have received various reports about the “variations in the offers for acquisition of road right of way (RROW) or expropriation of the private properties by the DOTr and/or its contractors, sub-contractors, or other service providers.”

These variations in offers, Reps. Duterte and Yap said, have substantial discrepancies from the actual zonal value or fair market value of the properties affected.

The House inquiry aims to revisit existing laws and rules on the manner of acquisition of right of way and expropriation of private properties affected by government works, infrastructure, and other projects and to strengthen the same or come up with new and better mechanisms to ensure that all affected stakeholders, whether from the public or private sector, are adequately compensated and protected by applicable laws and rules.

In a phone interview Thursday, October 28, Rep. Duterte said they received information that some individuals were buying properties along the 105 kilometer line at a very low price and are selling it to DOTr at a higher price.

Added to this, the Dabawenyo congressman said, some landowners have also been opposing the construction of the railway project right smack at some of the existing subdivisions in Davao City.

The young Duterte said some of the affected barangays are planning on coming out with a resolution opposing the said project.

Phase 1 of the MRP has a budget of P35.91 billion.

Bong Go asks Gordon to inhibit as Chair of Blue Ribbon since being Chair of Red Cross raises possible conflict of interest

Says impartiality must be upheld in Senate probe

While he recognized the crucial role of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in probing allegations of corruption, Senator Christopher Bong Go raised a possible conflict of interest on the part of the Committee Chair, Sen. Richard Gordon, who also serves as chair of an organization which entered into financial transactions with an agency that is part of the ongoing investigation.

In a privilege speech delivered at the Senate Session on Tuesday, August 31, Go stated that the “Filipino people deserve fairness and due process” from a committee that is held in high regard and plays a major role in the government’s anti-corruption drive.

“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.

“Bilib ako sa accomplishments ng Senado, lalo na sa kontribusyon nito laban sa korapsyon, kaisa ninyo ako diyan. Anumang anomalya sa gobyerno, kaisa ninyo akong labanan ‘yan. Mula 2019 … marami na tayong nadiskubre, nai-report, at naaksyunan upang matugis ang mga magnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan. Halos lahat niyan ay malaking itinulong ng mga Blue Ribbon hearings,” he affirmed.

Go, however, expressed concern over the committee’s investigation into the handling of the COVID-19 funds, noting that the chair leading the inquiries also heads the Philippine Red Cross, which entered into a multi-million peso Memorandum of Agreement with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation early on in the pandemic.

“Hindi ba may conflict of interest na isa sa iniimbestigahan mo ay ka-transaksyon ng organisasyong pinamumunuan mo? Nagtatanong lang … Dagdag pa nga diyan, hindi ba disadvantageous sa gobyerno at against the law ang paghingi ng advance payment? Anyway, let us save that discussion for another forum,” continued Go.

“In the spirit of fairness and impartiality, shouldn’t the Blue Ribbon Committee Chair inhibit himself from further hearing all matters involving PhilHealth? Make no mistake … I will not present any conclusions here without due process and fairness. Tinuturuan ako ng tama at kailanman ay magiging patas ako. Sana naman maging patas rin kayo,” he urged.

The PRC is a non-profit humanitarian organization that has provided disaster relief and emergency assistance in the Philippines, among its other contributions. In May 2020, it entered into a multi-million peso agreement with PhilHealth that required an advance payment of P100 million which may possibly be in conflict with auditing rules and regulations.

The Senator emphasized his respect for the committee chair but noted that Gordon has shown unequal treatment of his colleagues. Go called him out for failing to afford him the respect and courtesy befitting of a fellow senator and encouraged the latter to exercise fairness and respect due process in order for the truth to come out for the benefit of the Filipino public.

“Sabi niya pa naman, patas siya. Patas nga ba? Sabi niya, lahat pwede magsalita sa hearing niya, totoo nga ba? Sabi niya, the truth must come out, pero bakit parang iba ata pinapalabas niya? Prangkahan lang. Doon lang tayo sa totoo. Hayaan nalang natin ang publiko ang humusga, anyway napanood niyo naman po,” continued Go.

“Malaki ang respeto ko sa inyo noon pa … Palagi akong nagpapakumbaba sa inyo, kaya siguro ang trato mo sa akin hindi kapwa Senador. Kahit sa mga hearings … ang trato mo sa akin parang resource person lang na pwede mong barahin habang nagsasalita. Other Senators were accorded the privilege to have an opening statement in the hearings. Bakit ako kailangan mag-stick sa topic na gusto mo?” he pointed out, before adding that Gordon also unfairly scolded him for PhilHealth’s alleged delayed payments to the PRC.

”Pati ako nadadamay tinatawagan mo, bakit hindi nababayaran? Ako, kasamahan mo sa gobyerno, papagalitan mo kami, ano namang kinalaman ko? Tulay lang ako … sa Executive para mapabilis ang lahat ng proseso,” maintained Go.

The Senator stated that he is already being careful with his words because of his respect for the institution and his colleagues. But just like them, he pointed out that he too represents the Filipino people to whom he owes the privilege to serve and speak in this chamber.

He added that he always abides by President Rodrigo Duterte’s instructions to speak out on any wrongdoing and expressed disappointment at the proceedings for failing to be impartial in probing the allegations of anomalies in the use of COVID-19 funds.

“Tulad ng bilin sa akin ni Pangulong Duterte, kung may nakikita akong mali, magsasalita ako! Mapapaisip ka talaga dahil sa hearing sila na ang nagtatanong, sila ang nag-iimbestiga, sila rin ang sumasagot, sila na rin ang huhusga at gagawa ng konklusyon. I know this is not a judicial court but it does not take a lawyer to figure out that you cannot be the judge, jury, and executioner all at the same time,” said Go.

“Ang nagtatanong ay sila na rin ang sumasagot, sila na rin ang humusga at may agad nang nagawang konklusyon. Bakit sa rami ng resource persons na ipinatawag, parang iilang Senador lang ang nagkekwento ng kanilang bersyon at interpretasyon. Bakit niyo pa pinatawag kung kayo rin lang po ang magsasalita?” he asked, before adding that his colleagues already seem to have a narrative or position in mind.

”Kapag pinagsalita ninyo at hindi nakalinya sa gusto ninyo, nagagalit at naiinis kayo. It seems like some already had an answer in their minds and if they did not get what they want to hear, they will say the resource person is evasive.”

Nevertheless, Go stressed his commitment to support the fight against corruption, as demonstrated by his participation in several inquiries including those on the alleged corruption in PhilHealth and the Bureau of Corrections. He called on those who boast about their accomplishments, saying that everyone plays “a part in pursuing a clean government regardless of which branch of government we are in or what position we hold”.

“Nagkaisa tayo diyan na labanan natin ang kalokohan at katiwalian sa gobyerno at pagkakamali, but out of fairness, I am giving credit where credit is due. But let us not brag about it as if the Filipino people owe us anything,” added Go.

The Senator ended his message vowing to resign should he be found guilty of any wrongdoing. He insisted that he stands by his name and reputation as a humble public servant from Davao City.

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

Dumper partylist rep finally speaks up

First, I would like to acknowledge all of the sentiments asserted by everyone. I hear you, and I have internalized all of the grievances that were brought up in light of what was supposed to be a private and personal milestone. Although given the situation, I would also like to express my sadness over how my wedding day, something that I have separated from my work as a public official, has been made into a political spectacle. My husband has been planning this special day with me for years even before the pandemic, and it pains us to see how things after our wedding turned out. This was supposed to be the culminating event of a decades-long love story. My husband is a kind and loving person and all he wanted was to give me the wedding of my dreams. We both found many of the comments heartbreaking. This celebration of our love was a product of my husband’s hard work.

I have dedicated most of my life to public service, but I was hoping to have this experience in private with my husband, the same way that most people who marry the love of their lives do. We had no intention of making our wedding a public affair, so we kept it as intimate as possible. However, access was unintentionally given through the post of my wedding gown designer, Michael Cinco and he mistakenly posted about the private event.

He has since, also apologized for bringing unwanted attention to an event that was supposed to be separate from my life as a public servant.

Working for a public office, I have always valued the integrity of my work. I have always preferred to act silently and let my actions speak for themselves. I know that I have been doing everything in my capacity to get our sector through this pandemic and I understand that there are still some issues and concerns that have yet to be fixed. I assure everyone that we have never taken our eyes off of these concerns. People have been questioning my public service record when in reality, during the pandemic, we were able to help vaccinate 18,000 PUV drivers, we provided assistance through DSWD, DOLE-TUPAD, and DOH all around the country, we advocated for the immediate release of financial assistance for PUV drivers by filing a House Resolution and worked to ensure that the deadline for consolidation of PUVs is extended.

To address the effects of the pandemic, in my personal capacity, I also made sure that more than 1.1 million grocery packs, PPEs, free insurance policies, and relief assistance are distributed to affected PUV drivers and commuters. From my personal funds, I have donated P3 million to doctors and nurses to ensure that their tireless sacrifice is recognized.

Moving forward, I want to move past this issue and focus on pressing matters – the pandemic and serving better my constituents.

I will no longer indulge in the statements by people of influence against me as I will leave it up to my legal team to address this.

As a public servant, I have always been transparent with my office’s accomplishments and ongoing efforts, and we will continue to do so despite detractors aiming to change the narrative and devalue our achievements.

Kaysa magsiraan tayo, ilaan natin ang enerhiyang meron tayo bilang isang komunidad sa pag-ahon mula sa pandemyang ito.

Maraming salamat po at mag-ingat po tayong lahat. May God bless us all.