Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go yesterday assured the Moro people and the nation that President Rodrigo Duterte only wants lasting peace in pushing for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
A plebiscite is set to be held on January 21 and February 6 for the ratification of the BOL which is a product of long peace negotiations between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the government of the Philippines.
Go was with Duterte Friday when the Chief Executive went to Cotabato City to make a final pitch for the ratification of BOL.
“Kahapon po ay pumunta ang pangulo sa Cotabato City, sumama po ako at inexplain sa mga tao doon kung gaano kahalaga itong BOL sa magiging resulta, ibig sabihin para sa long lasting peace po na matagal na nating inaasam sa island of Mindanao lalo na sa mga kapatid nating mga Muslim,” Go said in a radio interview.
“Matagal na nila talagang hinihingi ito. So inexplain po ng Pangulo gaano kahalaga ang pagboboto nila ng ‘yes’ sa plebesito sa darating na Lunes,” he added.
In asking the Moro people to ratify the BOL, President Duterte noted that the landmark law was not built entirely from scratch as it echoes the aspirations and principles embodied in the past peace agreements embodied in the different Moro fronts.
“Indeed, it is a product of blood, sweat and tears of many great men who came before us,” the President said.
“Ang inaasam ng Pangulo ay magkaroon tayo ng long and lasting peace, matapos na po itong giyera sa Mindanao,” Go said.
Go admitted that in the crafting of the BOL he was tasked by President Duterte to set meetings and conduct dialogues with the MILF commanders, indigenous people, political leaders and lawmakers.
“Hindi lang po nagse-set ng meeting kundi nung unang panahon po ay kami po nila (MILF) vice chairman Jaafar ang palaging nag-uusap at pinaparating niya sa akin ang kanilang mga hinaing, kailangan at itong pagbubuo ng BOL,” said Go, adding he relays everything to President Duterte.
He acknowledged that there are certain groups, including a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front, opposing the ratification of BOL but said its part of the democratic process. Duterte said he would also talk to MNLF leader Nu Misuari.
“Ang MNLF naman po ay nakakausap naman po niya sila Chairman Misuari, so pati itong MILF. So hopefully sa susunod na tatlong taon po, natitirang taon, ako personally naniniwala ako na sana po ay makausap na rin po niya ang CPP-NPA at matapos na po itong gulo,” Go said.
A senatorial candidate in the 2019 elections, Go’s legislative agenda include the conduct of localized peace talks meant to end the communist insurgency that has stalled development in the countryside.
“Personally po ay gusto ko na magkaroon ng resumption of (peace) talks (sa mga komunistang grupo). Sino ba namang Pilipino nga po ang gustong makipagpatayan sa kapwa Pilipino?” Go said.
Go also wants to help Moro people with the establishment of more Malasakit Centers, a one-stop shop bringing together in one room agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PAGCOR, PCSO and Philhealth to make it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government.
Part of his legislative agenda is to craft a law for the establishment of Malasakit Centers in all the country’s provinces and urban centers to provide more people with access to quality health care.
Also covered under Go’s legislative agenda are programs on agriculture, anti-illegal drugs and criminality, housing, education, long-term sports development, anti-corruption drive, fire protection and prevention, creation of Department of OFW, barangay welfare, and benefits for senior citizens.###