Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go reiterated on Thursday, December 12, that President Rodrigo Duterte is not harassing any of his critics as the former strongly denounced foreign interference in Philippine domestic affairs.
Go told reporters during the Bureau of Fire Protection’s (BFP) 46th Fire Service Recognition Day that President Duterte is focused on the welfare of Filipino people, and is too old to waste his time on his critics.
“Hindi po siya nakikialam. Hindi po siya nang-haharass. He is already 74 years old, wala na po siyang ibang interes kundi magtrabaho lang po kami para sa bawat Pilipino,” Go said.
Go’s statements came after a United States (US) Senate panel approved a resolution calling for the release of opposition senator Leila de Lima who was arrested in 2017 due to drug charges; and for the stop of alleged harassment against journalist Maria Ressa.
Asserting that they have no business in the domestic affairs of the country, Go said that the US lawmakers are ignorant about the country’s issues.
“Sa Senado? Dun sa US? Anong kinalaman nila dito sa Pilipinas, US Senate? Bakit sila nakikialam dito sa Pilipinas? Senador ba sila dito sa ating bansa? Alamin niyo muna sa mga senators ng ibang bansa, alamin niyo muna kung political harassment ba ito, kung talagang mayroong kaso o may kasalanan ang tao,” he said.
“‘Wag muna kayo manghimasok sa bagay na hindi niyo alam. Alamin n’yo muna ‘yung totoo at may kasong hinaharap at hindi po nangingialam si Pangulong Duterte. Walang ginagawang political harassment po ang ating pangulo. Hindi po ganun si Pangulong Duterte,” he added.
Go, who was a long-time aide of Duterte before he became senator, said that he can vouch for the president’s brand of leadership and that harassing his critics is not in his style.
“Wala na po siyang ibang interes. Magtrabaho na lang po kami para sa bawat Pilipino. Sabi ko nga pagkatapos ng termino niya, pagkatapos ng termino namin, uwi na kami ng Davao. Not his cup of tea ‘yung pang ha-harass po ng kapwa politika, not his style,” he said.
Two other Philippine senators also criticized the resolution, arguing that the Philippines is no longer a US colony.