MANILA — Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Saturday the celebration of Araw ng Davao gained even more historical significance because a Davaoeño, former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, now occupies the highest political office of the land.
“Ang pagbabagong nagsimula sa Davao, dinala ni Pangulong Duterte sa buong Pilipinas. Iyan po ang mahalagang kontribusyon hindi lamang ng Davao kundi ng buong Mindanao sa ating mga kapatid na Pilipino,” Go said as he joined the festivities for the 82nd Araw ng Davao.
A motorcycle rider himself, Go celebrated the occasion with fellow riders, particularly the members of Karancho.
“Espesyal po ang araw na ito, kung kailan ipinapakita natin sa mundo kung sino ang Davaoeño. Proud po ako na isa akong Davaoeño,” Go, a 2019 senatorial candidate, said in his message to the Karancho (Kababayan Riders Association for a New Cultural Harmony and Order, Inc.), a volunteer organization of motorcycle owners.
He also took part in the highlight of the weeklong celebrations, the “Parada Davaoeño.”
Go vowed that if elected to the Senate, he would continue the initiatives and programs of his mentor, President Duterte.
“Ipapagpapatuloy ko po ang mga pagbabagong nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go said.
The former presidential aide, who began his career in public service as an assistant of then Davao Mayor Duterte, said he also wants to set an example that a simple man like him from the province, who did not come from a known political clan, and is just a simple government employee who dedicated his life in service of others, could be given the opportunity to serve the country in a bigger capacity.
“Si Pangulong Duterte po ang ehemplo na pwedeng mangyari na ang isang simpleng probinsyano malayo ang mararating, basta magsumikap at magserbisyo ng tapat,” Go said.
Duterte himself had vouched for the integrity of his former aide, saying Go is an “extremely honest man.”
Among others, Go said he remains steadfast in his support for President Duterte’s campaign against criminality, corruption and illegal drugs.
“Galit po si Pangulong Duterte sa mga kriminal, galit din ako sa kanila. Galit po si Pangulong Duterte sa mga corrupt na opisyal, galit din ako sa corrupt. Galit si Pangulong Duterte sa mga durugista, galit din po ako sa durugista,” Go said.
However, Go said he places a high priority in the effort to expand access to quality health care, particularly through the establishment of Malasakit Center. President Duterte has declared that the Malasakit Center is based on Go’s idea.
Adopted as a program of the Duterte administration, the Malasakit Center makes 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 government agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO, and PhilHealth.
“Gusto ko pong isabatas ito pagdating ng panahon (I want this enacted into law in the future),” Go said, noting this would allow the establishment of Malasakit Center in more provinces and key urban centers in the country and enable the continuation of the program even after the term of President Duterte.
“Asahan nyo po, patuloy ninyo akong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte. Wala po kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi kabutihan ng bawat Pilipino dahil mahal namin kayo,” he said.
Other priority concerns Go has included in his legislative agenda include programs for agriculture, education, housing, long-term sports development, localized peace talks, fire protection and prevention, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW and improved benefits for senior citizens. (PR)