Press Release
August 15, 2021

Bong Go expresses gratitude for trust and support given to him, remains focused on serving Filipinos in need

Despite encouragement and the Filipino people's trust and support in him, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go repeated that he remains focused on fulfilling his mandate and providing the kind of service that Filipinos need especially amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. He emphasized that he is not interested in the 2022 elections at this point.

Go said in an interview after attending the 135th Malasakit Center's launch at the Basilan General Hospital in Isabela City, Basilan on Saturday, August 14, that while he is familiar with the responsibilities of a president, he would rather focus on helping the Filipino people beat the current pandemic than discussing possibilities in the upcoming elections.

"Let me repeat, I am not interested to run for higher office. Ibig sabihin, hindi po ako interesadong tumakbo bilang pangulo ng ating bansa, dahil pagod na pagod na po ako. Alam ko po ang trabaho ng isang pangulo, nandidiyan po ako sa tabi ni Pangulong Duterte," said Go.

He, however, thanked the people for their continuing support for President Rodrigo Duterte and him.

"Salamat po sa inyong tiwala, salamat sa mga taga-Basilan, sa taga Region IX at BARMM, sa inyong tiwala sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte. Number 1 po ako dito sa Basilan (noong 2019 senatorial election), salamat po sa inyo. Kaya, unahin muna natin ang pagseserbisyo sa ating kapwa Pilipino," he added.

A recent survey of 1,500 registered voters conducted by Publicus Asia ranked Go first in terms of "overall trustworthiness" among the current members of the Senate. The Pahayag-Quarter 2 survey is an independent and non-commissioned poll conducted by the firm covering the period of July 13 to 19, 2021.

In the same survey, Go also ranked Top 3 among senators in terms of overall performance rating. Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte still enjoys remarkably high trust and performance ratings as seen in the same study conducted.

Go stressed that rather than discussing politics, he will focus on addressing the immediate needs of Filipinos and assisting the government in developing measures to solve the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Bakuna muna bago ang pulitika. Darating rin po ang panahon ng pagpupulitika. October 1 to October 8 filing na po. So doon natin malalaman kung sino 'yung tatakbo. Ako naman po, please count me out, consider me last kung wala na kayong ibang mapili," he said.

"Maraming mga Pilipinong gustong tumakbo, marami pong atat na atat. Unahin n'yo na lang sila. Ako po kung ano na lang po 'yung tira, kung mayro'n pang matitira yun nalang ang sa akin," he added.

The Senator then expressed his gratitude to President Duterte and his family for providing him with the opportunity to serve not only Davaoeños, but the entire country, adding he leaves his fate to God, to the Dutertes and to the Filipino people.

"I leave my fate to God, I leave my fate to Allah, I leave my fate to the Dutertes kung ano po ang magiging desisyon nila, susuportahan ko po 'yon. And I leave my fate to the Filipino people. Sila po ang nagbigay ng pagkakataon na maging senador po ako, kaya hindi ko sasayangin ito," he assured.

"Magseserbisyo ako sa kanila, sa inyo, araw-araw upang malampasan po natin itong krisis na ating kinakaharap. Unahin muna natin ito bago ang pulitika," he ended.

During the event, Go also attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Basilan General Hospital's two-story building.

He also attended the opening of the 136th Malasakit Center at the Labuan General Hospital in Zamboanga City, after which he went to the Labuan Central School to deliver aid and relief to over a thousand members of the Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association later in the day.

Go said that responding to the immediate needs of communities in distress is his priority at this time given that the country is in a state of public health emergency.

"Bawat araw, bawat oras, bawat minuto at bawat piso ay mahalaga dahil habulan itong laban na ito. Huwag dapat mawala ang focus natin sa tunay na kalaban — ang COVID-19. Kasama na d'yan ang hirap at gutom na dala nito," Go said previously.

Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, primarily authored and sponsored by Go, was eventually signed by President Duterte in December 2019. The law mandates the establishment of the centers in every DOH-run hospital nationwide and in the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.

Other public hospitals can also establish their own Malasakit Centers provided they meet the standard set of criteria and guarantee the availability of funds for the center's operation. Two million Filipinos have so far been assisted by the centers.

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