Senator Christopher “Bong” Go gave his support for the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Justice and its attached agencies during a budget hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Finance on Monday, October 5.
In his manifestation, Go praised the agencies for proving instrumental in ensuring the continued success of the administration’s initiatives against illegal drugs, corruption and criminality.
“I understand and recognize the crucial role the DOJ and its attached agencies play in maintaining the rule of law in our country, which is why I have pushed for and supported measures for the betterment of the department,” began Go.
“I filed Senate Bill 1649 in support of the modernization of the Bureau of Immigration. I have also supported significant changes in the workings of the Bureau of Corrections and the National Bureau of Investigation or the NBI,” he added.
The Senator commended the DOJ and its attached agencies for performing their mandated missions, particularly well during these difficult times as the country reels from the effects of the pandemic.
He encouraged them to strive to do better, as there is always room for improvement, and highlighted the rising prosecution success rates in illegal drugs cases.
“Maliban lang po sa mga nababalitang corrupt na mga prosecutors, nabibili po ‘yung kaso. Alam kong mas marami ang mas matitino. At binabantayan po ni Secretary Guevarra ang kanyang departamento,” he emphasized.
He went on to implore BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag to likewise build on the early success and ensure the sustainability of the many reforms instituted to improve the conditions of the country’s jail system.
“Full support po kami sa’yo dyan, DG Bantag, at gawin mo lang kung ano ‘yung tama, at linisin mo ang BuCor. ‘Yan naman ang pinapaalala sa’yo, do what is right, at linisin mo. Alam mo, malaki ang expectation ni Pangulong Duterte sa’yo dyan para linisin mo ang BuCor,” said Go.
The Senator also showed his appreciation for the important role played by the Bureau of Immigration in enforcing immigration laws, and vowed the administration would ensure they are properly compensated and provided with the right employment benefits.
He, however, called on the agency to cleanse it ranks of systemic corruption to improve its services to the people.
“Sa ilang mga corrupt dyan sa Bureau of Immigration, tumigil na kayo. Huwag ninyo ng intayin na ipakain sa inyo ang pastillas na pera na kinotong ninyo ang laman. Huwag ninyo ng intayin na umabot pa sa puntong ‘yan,” he said.
Meanwhile, while addressing NBI director Eric Distor, Go stressed that the law must be equally applied to everyone who commits a crime and urged him to ensure the law is followed while holding those who violate them accountable.
“Katulad ng palagi kong sinasabi, walang dapat piliin. Walang dapat paboran. Dapat lahat ay pantay-pantay sa mata ng batas. Mahirap man o mayaman, lahat tayo ay may karapatan sa ilalim ng batas. Kamakailan lang ay mayroon silang hinuli na mismong kasamahan nila. Walang pinipili ang batas, basta mali, huli ka,” he said while referring to the NBI’s efforts to cleanse its ranks.
Finally, he commended the Office of the Solicitor General for defending the State and pledged to support any measure that would improve the OSG.
“Mahaba pa po ang laban. Malayo pa ang finish line. Marami pa tayong dapat gawin, pero sa totoo lang, malaki po ang tiwala ko sa DOJ at sa marami pa nating empleyado na nandyaan. Marami na tayong nagawa pero mas marami pa tayong pwedeng gawin,” said Go.
“Ayusin natin ang justice system, tanggalin natin ang mga bad eggs, at panagutin natin ang lahat ng may sala. ‘Wag natin kalimutan kung bakit tayo nandito. Nandito tayo para magsilbi sa tao. Sila ang pinakamahalaga dito. Full support po ako sa DOJ and its attached agencies.”