Bong Go at Army anniversary rites

By Rhaydz B. Barcia PILI, Camarines Sur --- Arriving with red carpet treatment here, Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Laurence “Bong” Go set foot at the Army’s 9tth Infantry Division Headquarters here, tagging along with him former action star Philip Salvador and an impersonator of President Rodrigo Duterte. Welcomed like the Little President with members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in tow, Go served as guest of honor during the 14th anniversary of Philippine Army’s 9th ID regional command. He arrived here Monday afternoon for the anniversary rites. Numerous streamers with Go’s pictures on it were seen hanged in various places along the route to the Army headquarters to welcome the President’s aide. Scripted questions were made available to newsmen in the so-called ambush interview. Many say that Go delivered a lousy speech before the officials and men of the Army and the Philippine National Police, including national government agencies. The first salvo of his speech were all about Philip Salvador’s desire to produce a bio-film on the life of President Duterte and the life story of Salvador himself having fathered children with different women, including former presidential daughter and TV and movie personality Kris Aquino with whom he has a son, not to include three other children with different women that he left in Davao. On a more sober note, Go said the President is prioritizing the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South long haul project in Bicol that will be fully implemented by 2023, with partial operations starting in 2022. He said the construction of 639 kilometer-long haul passenger freight rail from Manila to Batangas, then to Albay and Sorsogon is ongoing that can serve 100,000 passengers daily, and will shorten travel time from Manila to Bicol to just 6 hours. “President Duterte wants to expedite the delivery of cargos and services in and out of Camarines Sur under the Build, Build, Build program. We will continuously implement world-class transportation projects for the province and for the whole Bicol region,” he said. Go said the transportation projects will surely encourage tourists to visit the watersports complex in Camarines Sur and other local attractions across the province. “The Department of Finance is working with Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) to finance the 38-kilometer Pasacao-Balatan Tourism Coastal highway worth P4.74B,” Go added. In August 2018, according to Go, the Department of Finance also included the Camarines Sur-Catanduanes Friendship Road in their shortlist as part of the 12 major projects to be funded by Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank. Currently, he said, the Department of Public Works and Highways is studying the P2.25B Camarines Sur Expressway Project. When asked for his reaction on the alleged use of government resources to advance his political campaign, Go said he is not interested to join the Senate race. As early as first quarter of 2018, radio and television political ads have dominated the airlanes in Bicol and giant and smaller streamers or billboards featuring his image have sprouted in many places around Bicol. Meanwhile, Go warned government officials and workers to follow the rules and guidelines without exemption following reports about the refusal of ACTS-OFW Partylist Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz to remove his shoes and follow other standard security procesures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The congressman has been slammed for his arrogant behavior at the airport. Proper discipline and good manners must start with the government officials and workers, Go told reporters in an earlier interview here. He said the president will not tolerate such abusive act of Rep. Bertiz and should serve as lesson to all government officials to follow the rules without exemption, Go said. Go admitted that Bertiz, as partylist representative for OFWs, had always been with them during official trips abroad with the President to meet with and check on overseas Filipino workers.