Davaoenos welcome Go, PDP-Laban bets

Sen. Bong Go advocates the creation of a Department of OFW.

The City of Davao on Friday gave a rousing homecoming to its son, former Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go as the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) staged its campaign rally in his hometown.

Go thanked the people of Davao, a huge crowd—entire families, elderly and children—that trooped to welcome the ruling party’s senatorial ticket and their guest candidates at Crocodile Park in Ma-a.

“Maraming salamat po sa mga kapatid ko dito sa Davao City sa mainit ninyong pagtanggap sa amin,” Go said. “Mahalaga po sa akin ang inyong pagsuporta dahil dito sa ating lugar nag-umpisa ang aking hangarin na magserbisyo sa kapwa Pilipino.”

Go started his career in public service in 1998 as the executive and personal assistant of President Duterte when he was Davao City mayor. He was tasked to attend to the needs of people who were seeking help from Duterte.

When Duterte ran for president in the 2016 elections, he tapped Go to serve as the Over-all assistant campaign manager. After Duterte was elected president, he named Go as Special Assistant to the President.

According to Duterte, his trust in Go remained unshaken for over 20 years because his former top aide is “extraordinarily honest.”

Go assured the people of Davao that he would remain steadfast in supporting the programs and policies of Duterte, particularly the unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs, crime and corruption.

“Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang mga pagbabagong nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go said. “Galit po si Pangulong Duterte sa mga kriminal, galit din ako sa kriminal. Galit si Pangulong Duterte sa corrupt, galit din ako sa corrupt. Galit si Pangulong Duterte sa droga, galit din ako sa droga.”

Go also said that based on his two decades of experience serving Duterte, oftentimes attending to the needs of those who sought medical assistance from the then Davao mayor, he wants to improve access to quality health care if he wins a seat in the Senate.

“Gusto ko pong isabatas pagdating ng panahon itong Malasakit Center,” he told the crowd.

A project of the Duterte administration based on Go’s idea, 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 agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO and Philhealth.

Earlier, Duterte categorically said it was Go who came up with the idea of the Malasakit Center after he asked the former SAP to find a way to provide medical assistance to the needy as soon as possible, without having to pass through the bureaucratic grid that oftentimes cause delays.

Go explained that an appropriate law will enable the establishment of Malasakit Center in more provinces and key urban areas of the country and allow the program to continue even after the term of President Duterte.

“Experimental pa lang po ito sa ngayon. Pero kung nakakatulong naman ay dapat nating ipagpatuloy. Pera ninyo ito, ibinabalik lang sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyo,” Go added.

Go also assured the people of Davao that they could continue to count on him as their link to Duterte, as he had done during his stint as the latter’s top aide.

“Asahan nyo po, patuloy ninyo akong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte. Wala po kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi ang kabutihan ninyo dahil mahal namin kayo,” Go said.

Other priority programs Go have identified to be part of his legislative agenda include initiatives for agriculture, education, housing, long-term sports development, localized peace talks, fire protection and prevention, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW and better benefits for senior citizens.