Governors of the vote-rich CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) on Sunday declared former Special Assistant to the President and senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go an adopted son of the region and vowed to support his candidacy.
“Nangangako kami na pangunahan ang mga mamamayan sa aming mga probinsya para sa dalhin sa Senado si Bong Go. Kaugnay sa ganitong layunin, buong karangalan naming idinedeklara si Bong Go, na isa ring Batangueno, bilang anak ng buong CALABARZON region,” the governors said in a two-page “Manifesto of Support” dated 10 February 2019.
For his part, Go thanked the CALABARZON governors for their support, saying it will inspire him to work harder to serve the people.
“Unang una, maraming salamat sa inyong assurances, sa inyong tulong at sa inyong commitment,” Go said.
Go noted that while he had no political plans, President Duterte prodded him to run for the Senate to serve the people in a greater capacity.
“Ipinagbilin niya sa akin, sabi niya: Di ka magkakamali Bong gawin mo lahat para sa Pilipino. Serve the Filipino first, hindi ka magkamamali,” he added. “Asahan nyo pareho kami ni Pang. Duterte, interes ng Pilipino po ang uunahin namin bago ang lahat.”
Quezon Gov. David “Jayjay” Suarez said the gathering is historic since the region has never had any unified stand and a unified voice in supporting any candidate in the previous elections.
“SAP Bong Go makakaasa po kayo na ang probinsya ng Quezon is behind you 110 percent,” Suarez said, noting Go was instrumental in the realization of many development projects in his province.
Speaking for Laguna, Gov. Ramil Hernandez said: “Tataya po ang Laguna sa inyo at ang inyong panalo ay panalo na rin namin.”
“Ang buong Rizal ay maaasahan ninyo sa darating na halalan,” said Rizal Gov. Rebecca Ynares, noting the former SAP has always provided assistance every time the province is in need.
Noting that Go is also a Batangueno, Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas sid the province has not asked anything from Duterte but the Chief Executive has given them a very big favor through the service of a fellow Batangueño.
“Ang una at pinakamahalagang ibinigay sa atin ni Pangulong Duterte ay payagan ang kapwa naming Batangueño, ang ating SAP Bong Go na kumandidatong senador,” Mandanas said.
For his part, Cavite Gov. Crispin Remulla committed his province’s support for the candidacy of Bong Go, saying, “Ang sisikapin naming gawin, top three po ang hahabulin namin (para sa inyo) sa lalawigan ng Cavite.”
In the manifesto, the CALABARZON governors cited Go’s over 21 years of selfless service as a trustworthy and dependable aide of Duterte and as an assistant to the people.
“Naging matibay na huwaran siya ng matinding sakripisyo sa pagtupad sa kanyang personal at propesyunal na tungkulin ng pagsisilbi sa Pangulo, sa bansa, at sa ating mga kababayan,” the manifesto added.
The CALABARZON governors also said Go’s dedication to service is worthy of emulation, noting that he remained a humble and simple man from the province but has shown a “big heart for his country” by initiating several projects, including the Malasakit Centers, for the benefit of the people.
“Ang kanyang hangarin na tulungan ang mga maysakit, matatanda, maliliit na mangingisda at magsasaka, kabataan at mga guro, ang mga nawalan ng tahanan, Overseas Filipino Workers, at maging mga lokal na lider ay karapat-dapat lamang na bigyan ng aming buong suporta,” the governors said.
The CALABARZON governors said they strongly believe that when Go is elected as a senator of the republic, Go will be able to further build on the success of many programs of the current administration for the betterment of our people.
Go’s legislative agenda include the improvement of the delivery of health services, including the establishment of Malasakit Centers in all provinces and urban centers of the country. The 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.
In addition, Go’s legislative priorities include programs for agriculture, anti-illegal drugs, and criminality, education, housing, long-term sports development, fire prevention and protection, anti-corruption, localized peace talks, creation of Department of OFW, barangay welfare and improved benefits for senior citizens.
In the 2016 elections, CALABARZON has the highest number of registered voters nationwide with 7.6 million. It is estimated that voters in the region for the 2019 elections has reached around 8.8 million.