Baste challenges Senator Go to speak out on Davao issues

Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte (left), Sen. Bong Go (right)
Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte (left), Sen. Bong Go (right) SunStar File Photos

DAVAO City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte said he is disappointed with fellow Dabawenyo, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who continued to be “silent” amid the issues the city is facing, including the war on drugs and the controversial effort to arrest Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

Duterte told members of the media during the Hakbang ng Maisug prayer rally in Angeles, Pampanga on Monday, June 17, that Go, a former aide of his father, former city mayor and former president Rodrigo Duterte, should make a stand on the issues his hometown is facing for he is an elected official.

“Ikaw, if you’re an elected official, you’re supposed to voice out… what the people… need and want [for] he is in a high[er] position,” the mayor said in an interview posted on Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa Facebook page.

Duterte said the senator still has the chance to redeem himself, and even challenge him to speak out, whom he said he voted for in the 2019 senatorial elections.

“He has time to redeem himself… because kung gusto pa niyang tumakbong senador uli, he should show that he is one with the Dabawenyos in times like this,” he said.

When asked by the media if Go is already distancing himself from the former president, the young Duterte said, “Could be. Possible. ‘Yun ang politics… You can never guess what will happen in politics.”

Go had been a longtime aide of then mayor Duterte until 2016, when the latter was elected as president. The former would then be serving as Special Assistant to the President. In 2019, he was elected as senator.

During the rally, Mayor Duterte revealed that he is more impressed with Senate minority leader Risa Hontiveros than Go for consistently standing her ground as an opposition senator.

“Mas napabilib pa ako ni Risa Hontiveros kesa kay Bong kasi ever since talaga, nasa previous administration, kalaban ‘yan, consistent ‘yan, hindi ‘yan natatakot…

He also admitted his disappointment to Go in his speech.

"Bong Go, kumpare taka. Pero kung alam ko lang pala na magkakaganito, you know mga tao... kami mga Dabawenyo nga nagboto kami sa imoha, Bong, kung alam ko lang na ganito lang pala 'yung gagawin mo, sana hindi na lang," he said.

Issues that hit Davao City

The Police Regional Office-Regional Internal Affairs Service (PRO-Rias-Davao) relieved 35 Davao City Police Office (DCPO) personnel, effective May 23 and 24, 2024, including former city director Colonel Richard Bad-ang, who served as DCPO head for only two months.

This decision follows a motu proprio investigation into the deaths of seven individuals during anti-illegal drugs operations from March 23 to 26.

Days before, Duterte declared a “war on drugs” during the turnover ceremony of Bad-ang’s appointment at the DCPO Headquarters on March 22.

Weeks later, Maria Belen “Mabel” Acosta was terminated by President Ferdinand “Marcos” Jr. as Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair. Acosta exhausted legal remedies against the appointment of her successor, Leo Tereso Magno, Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao (Opamine).

On June 10, a simultaneous raid was conducted by the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group at the compounds of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC), with the goal of arresting fugitive Pastor Apollo Quiboloy. The pastor, who is facing criminal charges of human trafficking, child abuse, and sexual abuse, was not found.

Following the controversial raid, which was called “overkill” by KOJC heads and even former president Duterte, Police Brigadier General Aligre Martinez, Police Regional Office-Davao Region (PRO-Davao) director was relieved.

Go was not reported nor heard issuing any statement about these issues.

As of writing, the senator has not responded to Duterte’s statement. RGL

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