President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday rallied Mindanaoans to support the Senate bid of former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and the entire senatorial ticket of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) during a rally at the Capitol grounds in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
Earlier yesterday, Go’s candidacy received a boost after Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and his father, Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri, Jr. endorsed the former SAP by raising his arms before the people of the province.
Addressing the people of the province, President Duterte stressed that Manila-based opposition candidates tend to look down on Go as just his former aide, not knowing the former SAP has the experience, educational background and skills to become a good senator.
“Ito kasing (taga Manila), akala yung aide (Bong Go), ordinaryong empleyado lang,” Duterte said, noting that the family of Go owned one of the biggest printing press in Davao City.
Duterte also noted that Go is a graduate of De La Salle University. But the President stressed that Go earned his full trust and confidence because of his integrity and honesty that were manifested during Go’s 21 years of public service.
“Twenty one years na syang nasa sa akin. Maraming dumaan sa kamay nito dahil sya ang aking pinagkakatiwalaan,” Duterte added. He earlier noted that not a single centavo went missing in the funds he had entrusted to the former SAP.
Duterte said that being a man of integrity, Go can be trusted by the people to be a senator who can be his partner in his effort to rid the government of corrupt officials.
“Bakit magiging senador si Bong Go? Kung merong graft and corruption, sabihan lang ako, kahit anong oras. Kung meron kayong kakilala, like kay Governor, ipasabi lang (kay Bong Go) na gusto ninyong makipag usap kay Mayor,” the President said.
The President also endorsed other PDP-Laban candidates like Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, Francis Tolentino, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Zajid Mangudadatu, as well as guest candidates like Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Pia Cayetano, Imee Marcos, Rafael Alunan and Freddie Aguilar.
In his message to the people of Bukidnon, Go committed his full support to President Duterte’s programs and policies.
“Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang mga pagbabagong nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte. Yung kampanya sa iligal na droga, kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, kampanya laban sa korapsyon, suportado ko po iyon,” Go said.
Likewise, Go said the people can always rely on him to help bring to the attention of President Duterte any concerns that they may have, including corruption in government.
“Noon, ngayon at saan man ako ipadpad ng tadhana, patuloy ninyo akong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte. Basta kami, serbisyo lang sa tao dahil ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos. Wala po kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi kabutihan ng bawat Pilipino dahil mahal namin kayo,” he said.
Go bared that among priorities for the Senate is to push for improvement in the delivery of health services, including the establishment of a Malasakit Center, which brings together in one room all concerned government agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO and Philhealth to make it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government.
“Pagdating ng panahon, gusto ko pong maisabatas ito,” said Go, noting such a law would enable the establishment of Malasakit Center in more provinces and key urban centers of the country and allow continuation of the program after the term of the Duterte administration.
Go’s priority concerns also include agriculture, education, housing for the poor, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW, and improved benefits for senior citizens. Go is also supporting the proper implementation of the development programs of the Duterte administration.
In urging the people of Bukidnon to support Go, Senator Migz Zubiri noted that the former SAP was instrumental in pushing for the planned airport in the province, the establishment of the P500-million drug rehabilitation and other big-ticket projects of the Duterte administration in the province.
The Bukidnon Airport Development Program is a P408.8 million project for the construction of an airport in Maraymaray, Don Carlos, Bukidnon capable of large planes used for international flights. The project was opened to bidders in November last year. Once completed, it is expected to boost economic and tourism activities in the region.
In August last year, President Duterte has inaugurated the drug rehabilitation center here, composed of three-patients’ dormitories with training center, medical service building, staff dormitory, visitors building, gymnasium and other important facilities.
The province likewise stands to benefit from the $800-million new hydropower plant that will be developed in Bukidnon to add 250 megawatts (MW) capacity in Mindanao by 2021 and expected to reduce power rates for consumers, boost economic activity in the region and ensure sustainable power supply in the country.
The planned Phase 3 of the Mindanao Railway Project, involving the construction of a 521.52-km railway connecting Davao City to Cagayan de Oro via Malaybalay, Bukidnon will provide a safe, convenient and faster means of transportation and spur economic development in the entire Mindanao.