Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has dared former presidential assistant and senatorial aspirant Christopher “Bong” Go to visit the families of the victims of extrajudicial killings (EJK) and assist them in improving their lives without any fanfare.
De Lima said Go should visit and listen to the stories of the widows and orphans of the EJK victims to genuinely see and understand the pains and struggles they have to endure for losing their loved ones in the murderous drug war that his patron ordered.
“Kung totoong nagmamalasakit ka sa mga Pilipino, itigil na ninyo ang pag-epal. Ilatag mo ang iyong plataporma at ang mga solusyon sa tunay na isyu sa ating bayan,” she said in an Open Letter to Go.
“Itigil mo na ang pag-iikot mo para lang sa photo-ops, at simulan mong bumisita sa mga komunidad na maraming biktima ng EJK. Subukan mo silang tingnan, mata sa mata, at ipadama sa kanilang ginagawa mo ang iyong makakaya para makamit nila ang hustisya at para makabangon sila sa kahirapan,” she added.
De Lima also challenged Go to prove that he is indeed an action man as he claims he is, by skipping photo opportunities and instead to present a concrete platform of governance to resolve the more pressing problems hounding the country.
According to the lady Senator from Bicol, Go should offer specific or concrete ways to solve the issues on extrajudicial killings, poverty, sovereignty, and inflation, among others.
The former justice secretary has earlier questioned Go’s “highly irregular and questionable” campaigning which skirts away from the election prohibition against premature campaigning at the expense of public funds.
Even before the official campaign period begins, it may be recalled that Go has made himself overly visible in public spaces through his tarpaulins and expensive billboards, as he likewise appeared on TV and was featured on print, among others.
Noting the excessive sum of money he spends to bankroll expenses for his early campaigning, De Lima pointed out that Go cannot blame people from suspecting where he gets his campaign funds or who are the people financing his senatorial bid.
“Pwede bang malaman kung sino ang mga pumopondo sa mga pre-campaign period activities mo? Sila ba ay mga pribadong indibidwal o kompanya na may kontrata sa gobyerno? Kailan ka binigyan ng pondo, noon bang wala ka pa sa gobyerno, nasa gobyerno ka na o nawala ka na sa gobyerno? Mayroon ba silang pabor o hinihinging kapalit sa kanilang pagtulong…?” she asked.
“Ito po ang mga tanong na hindi mo pa rin nasasagot, at sa halip, ay pilit mo pang inililihis sa ibang usapan. Siya nga pala, hindi lang ako ang nagtatanong tungkol dito. Marami ang nakakapansin sa ginagawa mong lantaran at malawakang premature campaigning. Hindi lang sila makalantad dahil takot siguro sila, at baka mapag-initan din gaya ng mga kritiko ni Duterte,” she added.
De Lima also urged Go to stop spreading his oft-repeated lies about her to propel his political ambition as she maintained that the truth about false accusations against her will come out in time.
“Kahit siguro ano pang sabihin o gawin ko, hindi ko kayo makukumbinsi na inosente ako sa mga imbentong paratang ninyo. Paano ba naman, ang boss mo mismo ang pasimuno sa matinding panggigipit sa akin, at sa mga kasinungalingan para sirain ang pangalan ko,” she added.
As then Special Assistant to the President, Go was purportedly involved in several anomalies, including his alleged involvement in the P15.7-billion frigates deal and the conflict of interest arising from his company’s acquisition of billions of pesos-worth government deal.
De Lima, along with fellow minority senators, earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 584 calling for a Senate investigation into the multibillion-peso frigate acquisition of two missile-capable frigates for the Philippine Navy involving Go.