Bong Go: Harassing critics not Duterte’s cup of tea, style
MANILA, Philippines — Harassing his critics is not President Rodrigo Duterte’s “cup of tea,” according to his former aide and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.
Speaking with reporters at the Bureau of Fire Protection’s (BFP) 46th Fire Service Recognition Day on Thursday, Go criticized a recently passed US Senate resolution calling for the immediate release of detained Senator Leila de Lima.
“Wag muna kayo manghimasok sa bagay na hindi niyo alam. Alamin n’yo muna ‘yung totoo. Walang ginagawang political harassment po ang ating pangulo. Hindi po ganun si Pangulong Duterte,” he said.
(Do not intrude in things you don’t know about. Know the truth first. The President did not politically harassed anyone, he’s not like that.)
“Sabi ko nga pagkatapos ng termino niya, pagkatapos ng termino namin, uwi na kami ng Davao. Not his cup of tea ‘yung pang ha-harass po ng kapwa politika, not his style,” he added.
(I said that after his term, after our term, we will go back to Davao. Harassing fellow politicians is not his cup of tea, not his style.)
The US Senate foreign relations committee earlier approved a resolution, which was filed by five American lawmakers last April, urging the Philippine government to drop the charges against De Lima as well as those against journalist and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.
It further condemned the “harassment, arrest, and unjustified judicial proceedings against the media and journalists, in particular, the proceeding against Rappler and Maria Ressa.”
Go, however, questioned why the US senators are supposedly meddling in the domestic affairs of the Philippines.
“Anong kinalaman nila dito sa Pilipinas, US Senate? Bakit sila nakikialam dito sa Pilipinas? Senador ba sila dito sa ating bansa?” he said.
(What is their business here in the Philippines, the US Senate? Why are they intruding in the affairs of the Philippines. Are they senators in our country?)
De Lima, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, has been in detention inside Camp Crame – headquarters of the Philippine National Police – since February 2017 on drug charges, which the lady senator has repeatedly denied and branded as “trumped-up.”
When she was chair of the Commission on Human Rights, De Lima investigated Duterte’s involvement in the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) which was suspected of the unexplained executions in Davao City where he was the mayor.
As a senator, she earned Duterte’s ire by initiating a Senate probe into the alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.
But Go defended Duterte, saying that the President is too old to waste his time on his critics.
“Hindi po siya nang-haharass. He is already 74 years old, wala na po siyang ibang interes kundi magtrabaho lang po kami para sa bawat Pilipino,” he said.
(He’s not harassing anyone. He is already 74 years old, he has no other interest than to work for every Filipino).
Two other senators–Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Imee Marcos–have also rejected the resolution, saying that the Philippines is no longer a colony of the US.
Edited by JPV
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