Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go said he will continue President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs through legislation, if given a Senate seat.
As the former presidential aide visited the fire victims in Pandacan, Manila, Go said he encountered a child named Christian, whose parents are both imprisoned because of alleged illegal drugs use.
Go said President Duterte’s fight against illegal drugs will not stop and will not be compromised until the end of his term and even beyond.
He said there is still hope for change; there are rehabilitation centers for those who wish for a second chance.
“Alam niyo nakulong ang mga magulang niya. Nangungulila yung bata so nasa huli na ang pagsisisi subalit may panahon pa naman upang magbago. Sabi ko nga tignan natin kung ano pwede natin gawin. May mga rehab centers naman tayo (You know what, his parents were sent to prison. The child is longing so regret is always at the end. But there’s still time to change. As I said let’s see what I can do. We have rehab centers),” he said during an informal gathering of pedicab drivers on the streets of Pandacan.
He reminded the citizens to stay away from illegal drugs as he cited how unfortunate it is for a child to lose a family because of the ill effects of these dangerous substances.
“Nakakasira ng utak, nakakasira pa ng buhay ng pamilya (It destroys the mind, it destroys the family),” he said.
Go said there are already available facilities offering free drug rehabilitation for those who wish to start a new life. He added that it is up to the drug users if they wish to change their lives for the better.
Based on experience from being the President’s aide and seeing the problem on ground, Go said, if elected in Senate, he plans to use these experiences to push for laws that will benefit the Filipinos.
Go said he will push for the legislative agenda of the President and will bring the fight for real and genuine change in the Senate.
“Kailangan ituloy ang pagbabago na sinimulan ng ating presidente (We have to continue the changes started by our President),” he added.
“Marami akong sisilipin na mga batas, yung ibang batas na natutulog; kaya sabi ko mas kapa ko at alam ko ang nangyayari sa baba. Nasa executive ako for the past 20 years. Ramdam ko kung ano yung totoong napapatupad na batas. Akin itong sisilipin at i-improve,” he said.
Go added that he sees his experience working under Duterte for so long as his strength in understanding and addressing the real problems of ordinary Filipinos.
He said among his priorities in the Senate will be to review existing legislative measures with the end goal of strengthening the fight against the illegal drug trade.
This includes the possibility of amending the controversial Juvenile Justice Act, which the President has repeatedly said is being abused by drug syndicates to recruit minors into their ranks.
Go, like Duterte, has previously criticized the law.
“Itong Juvenile Justice Law ay sisilipin natin, kasi 15 years old and below ay hindi liable. So ginagamit ng mga drug syndicate itong mga kabataan natin at kawawa ang mga inosente na walang kamalay-malay,” Go said in a recent radio interview.
He added that there is a need to revisit the law because it has been exploited by syndicates especially the provision on age wherein minors are exempted from criminal liability.
Go, as a private citizen, committed to continue serving the president and the public, but not as Special Assistant to the President, instead he will be the Special Assistant to the People — bringing help and assistance to every Filipino who is in need.
“Kahit saang sulok ng Metro Manila, sa makakaya ng katawan at panahon ko, papasukin ko. Hindi ako takot sa kahit pinakadulo pa ng mga iskinita, papasukin ko talaga ‘yan. Walang delikado sa akin basta makatulong sa mga Pilipinong nangangailangan,” he said.