Go appeals for sobriety and vigilance over Jolo bombing
“Duterte vowed justice for victims”
Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go today urged the people of Jolo, Sulu and entire Mindanao to maintain sobriety but keep vigilant and cooperate with authorities.
Even as this developed, Go bared President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to give justice to the victims of the bombing attack at the Jolo Cathedral on Sunday that left at least 21 dead and over a hundred others wounded.
Go had accompanied President Rodrigo Duterte when the Chief Executive visited the blast site in Jolo on Monday to personally assess the situation and determine the assistance needed from the national government. The President also attended a security briefing conducted by the authorities.
“Tayo po ay maging mahinahon, saka maging vigilant po tayo sa ganitong pangyayari lalong lalo na po sa Mindanao,” Go said in a radio interview.
He noted that while the entire Mindanao is still under martial law there are no reports of abuses committed by military and the police who remain respectful of the law and human rights. In fact, Go said the visibility of the police and military helps maintain peace and order in the region.
“Subalit tuloy tuloy po ang threat ng terrorism sa buong Mindanao. Hinihiling ng gobyerno ang inyong kooperasyon at gagawin naman ng gobyerno ang narararapat para sa kapakanan ng nakararami,” added Go, who is running for senator in the 2019 elections.
Go bared that President also reminded the people of Jolo that the attack should not be seen as a conflict between Muslims and Christians but a brazen act of terrorism that everyone should unite against.
“(Ang sabi ng Pangulo) hindi po ito away ng mga taga Jolo–ibig sabihin hindi po ito away ng mga kristiyano at mga muslim. Wala ho kayong kinalaman dito, kayong mga taga Jolo, ito po ay terrorismo, ito po ay kagagawan ng terrorista at napakalawak po ng giyerang ito,” Go said.
He recalled that during the President’s conversation with the victims, majority of them wanted nothing but justice, adding that he and the President could barely contain their tears as they listened to the tale of the survivors and the families of the victims.
“Pangako niya (Pangulong Duterte) po sa naging biktima, sa mga nasugatan, sa mga naputulan, sa mga nasawi, sabi niya po ay bibigyan ko kayo ng hustisya,” Go recalled.
However, Go refused to comment on the reported order of President Duterte for an all-out war against the perpetrators of the deadly bombing, saying he is not authorized to speak on the matter.
In fact, Go said Duterte remained composed as he surveyed the damage caused by the blast inside the cathedral.
“Bilang isang pangulo makikita mo na napaka-composed niya po sa ganung sitwasyon. Hindi naman po niya pwedeng ipakita ang kanyang galit sa publiko,” Go noted.
Instead, Go divulged that President Duterte has given his commitment that the national government will provide assistance to the victims.
Nangako po ang Pangulo na lahat po, ang national government ang (sasagot sa) lahat ng pangangailangan ng namatay at naospital. So lahat po ng pangangailangan nila sasagutin po ng national government,” he said.
In the case of military and police personnel who were either killed or wounded in the blast, Go said they would be taken cared of under the Comprehensive Social Benefit Program of the Office of the President.
For civilian survivors and families of the victims, Go said they could avail of the livelihood programs and small business assistance different agencies of the government such as the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Social Welfare and Development among others.
“Masyadong nakakalungkot na kasalukuyang nagmimisa sa Katolikong simbahan nangyari po ito. Marami pong naging biktima (hindi lang po Kristiyano) pati po mga Muslim kaya talagang kami po ni Pangulo ay nalulungkot sa nangyari. Kinokondena ko po ang ganitong pangyayari,” Go said.