Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Tuesday assured the public that no government funds are used in his campaign, as he slammed critics accusing him of alleged election offense.
“Huwag kayong mag-alala hindi ako gumagamit ng government funds. Maraming Pilipino na gustong tumulong dahil naniniwala sila sa amin ng Pangulo,” Go said in an ambush interview.
Opposition senatorial bet Gary Alejano earlier issued a press statement alleging that the Department of the Interior and Local Government authorized barangay officials to spend government funds for campaign materials with Go’s name that were distributed during the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas National Assembly in Manila held last February 25-27.
“Wala po akong idea (about that), tanungin na lang po nila ang organizers. Pakiusap ko po sa lahat na huwag niyo gamitin pangalan ko without my knowledge and consent,” Go said.
However, Go said he is not foolish to commit such alleged election offenses, adding he does not have the crab mentality like many of his critics.
“Nag-iisip po ako at hindi po tayo bobo, hindi po alimango ang utak ko,” Go said.
Go also mentioned that he suggested to Sec. Eduardo Año of DILG to remind Leagues of LGUs and Leagues of elective officials, such as Liga ng mga Barangay, to exercise political neutrality in their Liga activities.
Año also slammed Alejano for such allegation, saying it was fake news.
“Thats a big fake news! Liga ng Barangay is an independent activity initiated by the national league officers. They have their own organizers. I just provided the guidelines so that the activity is in accordance with the law,” Año said.
“I will never allow any irregularity in my department much more spend fund for unauthorized activity. Yung gumawa ng allegations ang hanapan mo ng proof rather than entertaining fake news,” Año told reporters.
The DILG chief also said he knows that Go won’t allow nor tolerate such illegal activity.
“I also know Bong Go and he will not allow Barangay Captains to spend a single centavo for him,” Año added.
Go stressed that there are many groups and individuals who have been using his logo or pictures without his consent.
“That is why dini-discourage ko po ang lahat, huwag na lang po kayong maglagay ng tarpaulin o kahit anong campaign materials ko. Ako na nga po mismo na kandidato ang humihiling: sumunod po tayo sa batas. Iyang ginagastos sa pangangampanya, itulong nalang natin sa mga taong nangangailangan,” Go said.
Besides, Go said he had said earlier on that no government funds would be ever used in his campaign.
“Wala pong government funds na gagamitin sa aking pangangampanya. Paalala rin sa mga dati kong kasamahan sa gobyerno: prayoridad natin ang magserbisyo sa kapwa kung kaya’t ibinilin ni Pangulong Duterte na huwag na po kayo mangampanya o makisali pa sa pulitika. Itago niyo nalang sa puso ninyo kung sino gusto ninyong suportahan,” Go said.
Go noted that President Rodrigo Duterte himself has sternly warned government officials and offices from involving themselves in partisan political activities.
“Para sa mga opisyal ng barangay, palagi ko pong ipaglalaban ang kapakanan ninyo. Parte po ito ng aking adhikain at ipaglalaban ko po ito nang walang kapalit,” Go said.
He added that he is committed to serve the president and the people regardless of what position he holds.
“Nanawagan po ako sa aking mga supporters. Maraming salamat sa suporta ninyo pero sumunod po tayo sa batas at mga alintuntunin ng COMELEC. Ito ang pinakamalaking tulong na maibibigay ninyo sa akin at sa administrasyong Duterte. Inaasahan ko ang inyong kooperasyon. Maraming salamat po,” he said.
In a lighter vein, Go said he no longer needs additional promotional materials because people are reminded of his name practically in every street intersections, noting that the green light of stoplights means “go”.