MANILA, Philippines — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said President Rodrigo Duterte is not sure yet whether he will accept United States President Donald Trump’s invitation to attend a summit between the US and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 4, 2020.
“Sa pagkaalam ko, inimbitahan po siya, mayroon pong ASEAN Summit na gaganapin sa Marso doon sa Las Vegas, at gustung-gusto po raw ni Pres. Trump na imbitahan si Pangulong Duterte para dumalo doon sa ASEAN,” Go said, adding that the US president has shown eagerness to see Duterte in the US-ASEAN Summit.
“Matagal na niyang iniimbita si Pangulong Duterte, napakarami pong Pilipino sa America. Hindi ko pa po alam ang magiging desisyon po ng ating Pangulo kung tutuloy ba siya. Sa pagkaalam ko noon, as a matter of principle, ayaw talaga niyang pumunta,” he also said.
With Trump’s invitation, Go said that he is also interested in meeting US senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy who introduced a US entry ban against Filipino officials involved in Senator Leila de Lima’s detention.
Go reiterated that the Duterte administration is not persecuting Sen. de Lima as he emphasized that it is not the president’s style to silence his critics.
The Senator, however, criticized the American lawmakers for intervening in the country’s domestic affairs and judicial system without knowing all the facts.
“Dapat alamin muna nila kung mayroon bang persecution na ginawa. It’s not persecution, even a percent po walang persecution na ginagawa ang ating Pangulo. He is not known for that. Hindi vindictive ang ating Pangulo,” he said.
“Mayroon talagang prosecution (that) was upheld by the Supreme Court. Kaya sabi ko, you come here, you research more. ‘Wag kang maniniwala muna sa intrigues, sa mga chismis. Not our style,” he added.
De Lima is currently detained at the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for her involvement in the New Bilibid drug trade when she was still secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Go said that De Lima should face the charges filed against her as he urged the two American lawmakers to know the facts first on the Philippine senator’s case before trying to meddle with the country’s issues. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)