Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go distributed cash assistance and grocery packs on Monday, October 14, to the victims of a fire that occurred in Leo Street, Barangay 569, Zone 56, Sampaloc, Manila, on Friday, October 11.
Go brought with him representatives of concerned government agencies to provide additional assistance to the 41 affected families, which comprise of 164 individuals, 15 of whom were injured in the incident.
“Nag-ambag-ambag po kami para sa inyo,” Go told the victims who are temporarily staying at the day care center of the barangay.
The agencies include the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP).
The Senator also shouldered the cost of new uniforms and school supplies of the affected school children and offered to pay for the fare of the victims who want to relocate to their provinces.
In an interview after the activity, Go expressed his sadness over the perceived low morale of the Philippine National Police (PNP) due to corruption allegations that resulted in PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde’s bowing out of office to be on non-duty status on Monday, October 14 until his retirement on November 8.
“Naaawa ako sa PNP. Gusto nilang magtrabaho lang po talaga,” Go said.
The Senator added that he was not surprised with Albayalde’s decision, and he believes that the PNP chief did the right thing.
“Hindi na po ako nagulat dahil alam kong pressured na rin si General Albayalde, at ako naman, tama lang po yung ginawa niya para meron na rin pong (bagong) magdala ng PNP at makapagtrabaho na sila. Mahirap naman po na may bagahe kang dinadala, at dadalhin mo ang 165,000-strong na force ng PNP at may bagahe kang sinasagot at patuloy ang hearing,” he explained.
Go said that it is time for the police force to focus back on work. “Panahon na po para magtrabaho na tayo. Let’s buckle down to work. I-uplift natin ang morale ng PNP. Tama na muna ang bangayan. Kailangan ng mga Pilipino ng kapulisan na nagtatrabaho para sa kanila. Mahihirapan po si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na labanan ang iligal na droga, kriminalidad at korapsyon kung di sa tulong ng ating kapulisan.”
Go emphasized, though, that erring cops must be held responsible. “Managot ang dapat managot. Kung sino ang dapat kasuhan, kasuhan po sila. Ma-dismiss ang dapat ma-dismiss,” he said.
“Kokonti lang po ang mga bulok na yan, kaya sabi ko nga, ihiwalay natin itong mga bulok na ito nang huwag makahawa,” he added.
He expressed his frustration over the alleged “ninja cops,” or police officers who are involved in accepting bribes from arrested drug lords and selling confiscated illegal drugs.
“Ito yung mga pulis na hindi na kontento sa dobleng suweldo. Ito yung mga sanay sa milyones. Ito yung mga pinagtatawanan na lang kami ni Pangulong Duterte rito dahil sanay ang mga ito sa milyon-milyon na pera,” he said.
He asked for the help of other police officers to stop the corrupt practices. “Ang makakatulong diyan hindi lang po ang nasa executive department. Ang mga pulis mismo, kayo na po mismo ang mag-identify. Kasuhan niyo. Bahala na kayo ano’ng gusto ninyong gawin sa inyong mga kabaro para hindi na makahawa.”
But Go clarified that he is satisfied with Albayalde’s performance as PNP chief. “Ako naman po naniniwala sa trabaho ni General Albayalde during his reign as PNP chief. Ginawa niya ang lahat para labanan ang iligal na droga. Ang pinag-uusapan natin dito ay nangyari noong unang administrasyon.”
Albayalde stepped down due to his alleged involvement in illegal activities while serving as Pampanga police chief in 2013, as revealed in the ongoing investigation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
Go said he did not attend the hearing to avoid issues that could deviate the focus of the investigation. “Hindi na po ako sumali sa hearing dahil ayaw kong mahaluan ng politika dahil pinatawag po ang former generals ng previous administration.”