Press Release
October 26, 2023

Bong Go calls for safeguards to protect integrity of upcoming barangay, SK elections; reminds Filipinos to exercise right to vote

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, in an interview, on Tuesday, October 24, during his inspection of projects he supported in Kapalong, Davao del Norte, has urged the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to safeguard the integrity of the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections on October 30.

Moreover, Go encouraged Filipinos to exercise their right to vote and to be discerning in choosing candidates they believe can contribute to the development of their respective communities.

"Sa mga kababayan natin, exercise your right to vote. Pumunta po kayo sa mga presinto, go out and vote for candidates na tingin ninyo ay makakatulong sa pag-unlad ng inyong barangay," said Go.

The senator also suggested a set of criteria for voters when selecting candidates. He advised, "Unahin n'yo po ang mga honest, competent, at pinakamahalaga, 'yung may pagmamahal at pagmamalasakit nila sa kapwa Pilipino."

For candidates, Go advised them to always prioritize the welfare of their constituents and to take to heart the essence of public service they are aspiring for.

"Public office po itong pinapasukan ninyo. 'Wag n'yo pong sayangin ang binigay na tiwala ng ating mga kababayan. Once na manalo po kayo, unahin n'yo po ang pagseserbisyo, pagmamalasakit, at pagmamahal sa ating mga kababayang Pilipino, lalung lalo na po ang mga mahihirap," he advised.

Meanwhile, Go cautioned voters to be more discerning during the campaign period amid reported use of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance images of candidates in campaign materials, saying that the integrity of the election lies on the truthfulness of those participating in it.

"Ang paggamit po ng artificial intelligence sa election campaign sa Pilipinas ay masasabing new terrain, new tool, new style kung ikumpara po sa tradisyunal na pangangampanya," Go stated.

While acknowledging the innovative aspects of AI, he also expressed caution, and emphasized the ethical implications that come with this technological advancement. He specifically pointed out that AI applications have the capability to alter facial features, which could potentially violate truthfulness of candidates.

"Importante dito ang katotohanan... ang karapatang bumoto ay very sacred 'yan. Ibig sabihin, ating karapatan 'yan, tag-iisang boto at dapat po ang iboboto nila ayon sa kanilang pagkaalam sa katotohanan po," he explained.

The senator stressed the importance of transparency in elections and warned against the misuse of AI for deceptive purposes for candidates to gain 'visual edge' beyond what is deemed truthful such as enhancing one's image in campaign materials.

"Importante dito ang transparency at hindi maloko ang tao. Kung ano ang nakikita nila sa kandidato, 'yung dapat totoo lamang po. Always the truth, kaya dapat po ay pag-aralan nang mabuti kung baka gagamitin ito sa panlilinlang, panloloko o kasinungalingan. Kung ganun ang gamit, hindi po ako sang-ayon diyan," he explained.

"Dahil tayo, always the truth--kahit ako po sa aking pagtatrabaho, sa aking pagiging public servant, always the truth. What is fair and always what is true, 'yun po ang ating parating ipinaglalaban. Best interest of the country, best interest of the people, always," Go reminded.

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