Bong Go vows to continue ‘Duterte’s gains’

Duterte and Bong Go Philippine Star

ORMOC CITY, Leyte — Former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Saturday vowed to continue the gains made by his political mentor, President Rodrigo Duterte, if given a Senate seat.

“Katulad ni Tatay Digong, may pangarap din ako para sa bansa natin. May pangarap din ako para sa mga kapwa kong Pilipino (Like Tatay Digong, I have a dream for this nation. I have a dream for my fellow Filipinos),“ Go said in an interview during the city’s foundation day.

Go said among his priorities will be the passing of legislation that would strengthen the fight against the illegal drug trade.

This includes possibly amending the controversial Juvenile Justice Act, which the President has repeatedly said is being used by criminal gangs to recruit minors into their ranks.

Go, like Duterte, has previously criticized the law.

“Itong Juvenile Justice Law ay sisilipin natin, kasi 15 years old and below ay hindi liable. So ginagamit ng mga drug syndicate itong mga kabataan natin at kawawa ang mga inosente na walang kamalay-malay kaya hindi nakukulong (We will examine this juvenile justice law, because those 15 years old and below are not liable. Drug syndicates are using children and their innocence so they don’t go to jail),” Go said in an interview.

Speaking before participants of the festivities, Go praised local government officials and residents for their contributions to nation building.

“I commend the city government of Ormoc for its ‘Garbo sa Ormoc’ initiative to honor and recognize its outstanding men and women who excel in their respective fields, give significant contributions to the country, and bring pride to your wonderful city,” Go said.

He added that he will relay the request of local residents for the opening of a TienDA Malasakit outlet in Ormoc to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

During a chance interview with the local media, he mentioned plans by the Duterte administration to put up a Malasakit Center in the city in order to provide easier and more efficient health assistance to the public.

“Plano pong maglagay ng Malasakit Center dito sa inyong government hospital. It’s a one-stop shop para matulungan po natin ang ating mga pasyente at huwag po sila mahirapan sa mga panahon na nalilito sila saan sila lalapit (There is a plan to put up a Malasakit Center here. It is a one-stop-shop to help patients to avoid times when they don’t know who or where to seek health assistance),” Go said.

The Malasakit Center is a program of President Duterte to hasten the delivery of medical services, and give poor patients access to free medicine.

A fast lane prioritizing the senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) is also available.

Under the program, patients are assisted in availing services and financial assistance provided by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), the Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation (PAGCOR), Department of Health (DoH), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Pooled together, the assistance can push the patient’s medical bill, including medicines, to the lowest possible amount.