MANILA — Secretary Bong Go, Special Assistant to the President, brushed aside on Thursday comments about the relief goods bearing his name that went viral on social media sites.
The top presidential aide said that it has never been his and President Rodrigo Duterte’s practice to flaunt their names when giving aid. He stressed, “Di po namin ugali ni Presidente na ilagay yung pangalan namin sa relief goods. Noong mayor pa lang po s’ya ng Davao City, pansinin niyo po na wala ni isang nakalagay na ‘This is the project of Mayor Duterte’.” (It was never a practice to put our names especially of the president on relief goods. Even when the president was still mayor of Davao City, notice that nothing was on it which said ‘This is the project of Mayor Duterte.’)
He relayed that upon learning of the Sampaloc, Manila fire on July 1, he hastily went to the site at dawn following the orders of the President and promised to return with aid from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Health (DOH).
“Sinabi ko po sa mga biktima na pinadala ako ni Presidente ( I told the victims the president sent me) since di nya naman kayang ikutin lahat ( he cannot make rounds of all victims). Sabi ko( I said), etong dinala kong tulong ay (this help is) from DSWD at DOH. Pera po iyon ng gobyerno ( This is government money). Di ko po inangkin (I didn’t own it),” he noted.
SAP Go went on to say that it was just unfortunate that the goods from the government were placed next to the donations from a private foundation. He said, “Di naman maiiwasan na may mga pribadong taong gustong tumulong at kusang nagbibigay ng kanilang grocery packs at sapatos. Nagkataon lang na ipinatong doon sa mga kulay green na packs mula sa foundation ang goods na galing sa gobyerno.”
He clarified that DSWD never distributed relief goods bearing his face or name. The ones distributed were standard relief goods given by the agency to victims of calamities.
SAP Go appealed again to his supporters to refrain fronting his name and face when giving help. He urged, “ Sa mga supporters ko, maraming salamat po sa pagtulong pero katulad ng paulit-ulit kong pakiusap, huwag niyo na pong ilagay ang pangalan ko. Idiretso nalang natin ang tulong sa tao.” (To my supporters, thank you for the help but as I said repeatedly, please do not put my name. Give the help direct to the people.)
“Sa mga tumatawag na senador po sa akin, hindi po ako pulitiko, janitor na lang. Di po ako special guest. Special Assistant to the President lang. Isang staff lang po ako sa office niya. O pwede ninyo rin naman akong tawaging special assistant of the people. Utusan niyo lang ako. Trabahante lang ako,” he added. (To those calling me senator, I am not a politician, just janitor. I am not a special guest. Just special assistant to the president. I am just one of his office staff. Or you can call me special assistant of the people. I am just your servant. I am a simple worker.)