Go appeals for fairness, respect for due process on COVID funds probe

Go appeals for fairness, respect for due process on COVID funds probe

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go appealed for fairness
and respect for due process in order for the truth to come out in any
Senate probe concerning anomalies in government particularly COVID
funds.

In a statement, Go cautioned the public of the stifling effect on
ordinary government employees if investigations supposedly in aid of
legislation is conducted unjustly.

While he expressed his support for the ongoing Senate probe on the use
of COVID-19 funds, he said that such efforts should be conducted in a
fair manner by letting resource persons clarify issues thrown against
them without being prejudged, badgered, or bullied.

“Marami pong natatakot gumalaw ngayon. ‘Yung mga opisyales ng
gobyerno, takot na pong gumalaw, wala nang gustong gumalaw kaya po
natatagalan lalo,” said Go in a privilege speech in the Senate on
Tuesday, August 31.

“Alam ninyo po, magkasama tayo lalong-lalo na po sa laban sa korapsyon
sa gobyerno, sana naman po sa tamang paraan. Hindi po sa bullying na
pamamaraan,” said Go.

Moreover, Go warned that unjust treatment of fellow government
officials who were summoned as resource persons might possibly
adversely affect their ability to perform their duties and take the
attention away from the country’s efforts to overcome the health
crisis.

“Habang naghi-hearing, tumataas ang kaso, hindi na po nakaka-focus ang
government workers natin lalo na ‘yung mga DOH officials at ‘yung
involved sa vaccination efforts natin dahil takot na pong gumalaw,” he
said.

“Importante sa ating lahat ang COVID-19 response. We cannot afford to
fail. Buhay po ang nakataya, buhay po ang nakasalalay dito. Tumataas
ang kaso, 22,000 cases po kahapon, naging dominant variant na po
ngayon ang Delta,” said Go.

He also said that a fair hearing should lead to corrupt officials
being prosecuted in accordance with the law.

“Nakakatakot po ito. Pero habang tumataas ang kaso, tayo nag-aaway
dito. Hindi po ito nakakatulong. Kung merong kakasuhan, kasuhan na po
at ikulong na po, para makapagtrabaho na tayo,” he added.

While the Senator supports the Senate’s quest for finding the truth,
he also advised some of his colleagues to “listen” before leaping to
conclusions.

“But if we do not know how to listen, or, worse, if we already have a
conclusion even before getting all the facts, then we have failed in
providing the people true and accurate information,” said Go.

“Aren’t we all for the truth?” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte, according to Go, is watching the
proceedings. Nonetheless, he urged his colleagues to work together to
discover the truth.

“I am one with you here in the Committee. Sinusubaybayan po ng Pangulo
ang lahat. Pinapanood po niya, binabantayan po niya. Ipinagtatanggol
ko po ang ating trabaho,” said Go.

“I am with you, sa lahat po ng colleagues ko rito para malaman po ang
katotohanan. Pagtulungan po natin, alamin natin ang katotohanan at
kasuhan ang may kasalanan,” he added.

Noting government critics’ attempts to undermine the COVID-19 efforts,
Go assured that the government has no “grand scheme” of corruption,
which he and Duterte will not tolerate.

“Ang gusto po ng kalaban is to discredit the COVID response of the
administration. Sa administrasyong ito, walang grand scheme ng
pagnanakaw, lalo na ngayong pandemic,” said Go.

“Hindi po papayag si Pangulong Duterte. Galit po kami ni Pangulong
Duterte sa mga magnanakaw,” he ended. (ai/mtvn)

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