BUHI, CAMARINES SUR - Actor Robin Padilla on Tuesday told his fellow Bicolanos to rally behind former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, saying he is convinced Go is truly sincere in his desire to uplift the lives of the Filipino people, including those in the Bicol region.
Speaking at a campaign rally here, where Padilla represented Go, the actor said he volunteered for free his services to support the candidacy of the former SAP not only because he had known him personally but also for the interest of the Bicolanos.
“Hindi po ako binabayaran dito. Maski piso, hindi po ako binabayaran dito. Pumunta ako dito dahil sa pagmamahal ko sa Bicol. Tulungan ninyo si Bong Go dahil kilala ko siya at tapat ang hangarin niyang iaangat ang buhay ng mga Bikolano,” Padilla said.
“Ibinigay ko na ang buhay ko sa kanya. Naniniwala ako sa kanya---Bong Go. (Number) 34 po iyan (sa balota),” he added.
Robin’s father, Roy Padilla, Sr., a film director and politician, served as governor, vice-governor and assemblyman of Camarines Norte.
He said Go’s advocacy is in line with his own aspiration to see the ordinary Filipino people lifted out of poverty.
“Kalayaan sa kahirapan. Yun ang target natin. Maging malaya tayo sa kahirapan. At iyan ay makakamit lang natin kung tayo ang magkakaisa bilang Pilipino,” he added.
Padilla told fellow Bicolanos that he visited them to seek their support for Go.
“Tutulungan niyo ba ako na mailagay sa Senado ang aking kapatid na si Bong Go?” Padilla asked.
“Yes!” the crowd answered back.
In his visit here, Padilla did not only talk about politics; he also entertained the people through a duet with singer Imelda Papin, who is a candidate for vice governor of Camarines Sur.
Likewise, the actor visited remote upland barangays in the municipality of Buhi—including Tambo, Burocbusoc, Lourdes, Sagrada, Sta. Justina, and San Isidro--- that are rarely visited by politicians and other famous personalities.
“Balita ko hindi pa kayo nabibisita dito ng mga kandidatong senador o sinumang artista. Nandito ako para dalhin ang magandang balita na hindi kayo pababayaan ni Pangulong Duterte,” he said.
“Si Bong Go, prayoridad ang mga nasa liblib na barangay, mga nasa malalayong lugar, mga masa na dati ay hindi naririnig ang inyong boses... Si Bong Go po ang tulay niyo kay Pangulong Duterte na ipaglalaban ang inyong kapakanan,” Padilla added.
He stressed that among Go’s priorities under his legislative agenda is to boost the country’s food security by supporting agriculture, which is the main source of livelihood of the people in the Bicol region.
“Bigyan (natin ng) dignidad ang mga magsasaka. Hanggang ngayon alipin pa rin natin ang kalabaw. Oras na para mag-modernize at iyan ang ipinaglalaban namin ni Bong Go,” Padilla stressed.
Padilla said he wants to hear the sentiments of his fellow Bicolanos and seek their support for the administration of President Duterte and the candidacy of Go. He said he does not believe in the notion that the area is a bailiwick of the opposition.
“Ang mga Bikolano po ay matatalino at may integridad. Ang loyalty natin ay dapat nasa tao at sa bayan, hindi sa sinumang pulitiko,” he said.
Padilla noted that President Duterte and Go had already demonstrated their sincerity in assisting the people of the region when they visited Bicol after the onslaught of typhoon Usman and immediately extended needed help, particularly to the province of Camarines Sur.
He appealed to Bicolano voters to be wise in their choices of candidates in the May 13, 2019 elections and to resist any attempt to buy their votes.
“Huwag ninyong ibenta ang pagkatao ninyo. Maging loyal tayo sa kapwa nating Pilipino. Ipaglaban natin ang integridad ng mga kapwa natin Bikolano,” Padilla said.
He told his fellow Bicolanos that if they support President Duterte’s candidates they can be assured that the entire region would benefit from the programs and projects of the administration.
“Ako po ay hindi pulitiko. Wala akong pinapanigan dito kundi ang interes ng Bicol. Napakadami na programa ng administrasyon na ito para sa Bicol at tayo po ang makikinabang. Mabuhay po at maraming salamat,” Padilla said.
Among the important infrastructure projects of the Duterte administration that would benefit Bicol includes the PNR South Long-Haul, a P175.3-billion rail project that will connect Manila, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon and Batangas to provide a faster, safer and more reliable means of transportation. The DoTR has issued bid documents for the program to contractors last August 2, 2018.
In addition, the region would also profit from the Quezon-Bicol Expressway project. It’s a P4-billion expressway from Pagbilao, Quezon to San Fernando, Camarines Sur. Feasibility studies for the project is now on-going.
The government has also constructed numerous farm-to-market roads in various municipalities in Bicol Region.
Likewise, Bicolanos can also avail of the services of the Malasakit Center in Legazpi City in Albay, located at the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital. Another one is expected to be opened soon in Naga City, Camarines Sur after the on-going renovation of the facilities of the Bicol Medical Center.
A brainchild of Go, the Malasakit Center makes it easier and faster, particularly for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room concerned agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO and Philhealth.
Go is proposing a law to ensure the continuation of the program and establish Malasakit Centers in more provinces and key urban centers to serve more people.
Go’s legislative agenda include programs for agriculture, anti-drugs and criminality, education, housing for the poor, long-term sports development, anti-corruption, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, creation of a department of OFW and improved benefits for senior citizens.