CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- In a massive display of support, residents here and nearby areas filled the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) Gym here to welcome former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and his fellow senatorial bets of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in their campaign rally.
“Maraming salamat po sa mga taga-Cagayan De Oro, sa Region 10, sa suporta ninyo. Nakakawala po ng pagod pag nakikita mong napakainit ng pagtanggap sa iyo,” Go said in an ambush interview before the start of the rally.
Earlier this month, different political camps in the province of Misamis Oriental have pledged their support for Go’s senatorial bid. Cagayan De Oro is the capital city of the province. It also serves as the regional center and business hub of Northern Mindanao.
“Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang mga pagbabagong nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go told the city’s residents after they had confirmed they are happy with the way President Rodrigo Duterte has been running the country in the past three years.
In particular, Go said he fully supports President Duterte’s campaign against criminals, corrupt officials, and illegal drugs.
“Galit po si Pangulong Duterte sa kriminal, galit din ako sa kriminal. Galit si Pangulong Duterte sa mga corrupt, galit din ako sa corrupt. Galit si Pangulong Duterte sa mga durugista, galit din ako sa durugista,” Go said.
Likewise, Go said he would promote improved access to quality health care. He noted, for instance, that many public hospitals are operating at over capacity that many patients are forced to share beds, while others even had to stay in the corridors.
In addition, Go said he wants to enact a law that would institutionalize the Malasakit Center and allow the establishment of such centers in more provinces and key urban areas in the country. 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.
“Ito po ang gusto kong isabatas pagdating ng panahon. Pera nyo po ito ibinabalik lang sa inyo,” Go said.
President Duterte has formally endorsed the candidacy of Go, vouching for the dedication and loyalty of the former SAP to service, saying Go’s “bisyo ay magserbisyo.”
Go said that is precisely what he is going to do, adding: “Minsan lang po tayo daraan sa mundong ito. Kaya anuman ang pwede nating gawin sa kapwa, gawin na natin dahil hindi na tayo daraan ulit sa landas na ito.”
“Saan man po ako ipadpad ng tadhana, patuloy ninyo akong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte. Wala po kaming ibang hangad ni Pangulong Duterte kundi kabutihan ng Pilipino dahil mahal namin kayo,” he added.
Other top priorities Go had identified to be part of his legislative agenda 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.
Meanwhile, Senator Manny Pacquiao—who is serving as the campaign manager of the PDP-Laban senatorial ticket---also pitched in to rally the support of Cagayanons for the administration party’s bets in the 2019 polls.
“Nais ko pong hilingin ang inyong walang sawang pagsuporta sa ating mga kandidato ng PDP-Laban, at ganun din sa ating mga guest candidates. Iboto po natin sila para sa tuloy-tuloy na pagbabago,” Pacquiao said in a video message played during the event.
In endorsing Go and the PDP-Laban bets, Cagayan De Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno said it is important for President Duterte to have the support in the Senate for his legislative agenda.
“Importante ang teamwork, so together we can serve the people the best way possible. Suportahan po natin sila—not just CDO, or Northern Mindanao but the entire nation – para makamit natin ang kapayapaan at kaunlaran,” Moreno said.