Former Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Wednesday vowed to refrain from using dirty tricks as he also said any of his critics resorting to fake news to pull him down should be ashamed of themselves.
“Hindi ko na po kailangan manira ng tao para sumikat. Kagaya nga ng sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte, ito ‘yung mga taong gustong putikan kami para sila ang pumuti,” Go said in a radio interview
Go was reacting to the allegation of opposition senatorial bet Gary Alejano that the Department of Interior and Local Government purportedly allowed use of public funds for campaign t-shirts of the former SAP distributed during a meeting of the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB).
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año had issued a statement categorically denying the allegation, calling it “fake news.” Leaders of the LnB also belied the accusation.
Año said that according to the LnB, the t-shirts were in fact bought and paid for by “Bayan For Bong Go,” a private organization of individuals who are supportive of the candidacy of former SAP Bong Go, and was not purchased by the Liga using public funds.
“Mapapahiya siya (Alejano) ngayon dahil sa statement ng DILG na hindi po totoo (ang akusayon niya),” Go said.
Stressing he is no fool to put his candidacy in jeopardy by using illegal means, Go also said he does not subscribe to crab mentality—or pulling others down just to rise above them.
“Basta ginagamit ko po ang utak ko at hindi po ako bobo. Hindi po alimango ang utak ko,” Go said.
He reiterated that he has been discouraging his supporters from using his logo or pictures for campaign materials without his consent.
“Unang-una, matagal ko na po sinabi na huwag n’yo po gamitin ang pangalan ko, mga pictures ko, tarpaulin ko. Ang sinabi ko nga tanggalin n’yo na ang mga billboards at ibili n’yo na lang ng plywood sa mga nasunugan at mga nangangailangan ng tulong. Dine-discourage ko na nga na mag pagawa sila para tumigil na rin itong pambabatikos,” Go said.
However, Go said there could be situations where he could not entirely prevent supporters from distributing campaign collaterals for his candidacy, despite his appeal to the contrary.
“Hindi ko mapipigilan kapag may namigay ng collaterals diyan o mga t-shirt na wala naman pong sinabi sa akin,” he said.
Still, Go said he is thankful to supporters who are taking the initiative to produce campaign materials to back his candidacy but he reminded them to follow the law and regulations of the Commission on Elections.
“Ako po ay nagpapasalamat sa inyo dahil sila mismo ang nagkusang loob na magpa-imprenta, gumawa ng tarpaulin na kung minsan nga po ay nakalagay na lamang po sa kahit saang kanto na lamang po. Kaya nga po sumunod po tayo sa batas or huwag n’yo na lamang po ilagay ang mukha ko since dalawang buwan na lamang po ang natitira (bago ang eleksyon),” Go said.
What is important, Go stressed, is that no government funds are involved in his campaign.
“Ang pinaka importante po ay may pondo po ba ng gobyerno na ginamit? Wala. At saka matagal ko na po sinasabi ‘yan na kahit piso ay wala po akong ginagamit na pondo ng gobyerno sa aking pangangampanya,” Go said.
“Hindi po kami ganyan ni Pangulong Duterte, alam naman po ninyo na marami po ang gustong tumulong at naniniwala po sa amin dahil alam naman nila na gusto lamang namin mag lingkod sa kapwa Pilipino,” he added.
Despite the controversy on the LnB gathering, Go reiterated his commitment to promote the welfare of barangay officials.
“Ipaglalaban ko po ang karapatan ng mga Barangay Officials, isusulong ko po ang Magna Carta for Barangay Officials at kapakanan ng mga barangay ang uunahin ko,” Go said.
Aside from barangay welfare, health is another top priority in Go’s legislative agenda. It includes his vision to institutionalize the Malasakit Center through a law that would enable the establishment of such a center in more provinces and key urban areas of the country.
Based on Go’s idea, a Malasakit Center is a continuing program of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte meant to make it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO, and Philhealth.
Likewise, Go’s legislative agenda includes programs for agriculture, anti-illegal drugs, education, housing, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, anti-corruption, localized peace talks, creation of a Department of OFW and improved benefits for senior citizens.