Dela Rosa, Go say they will not be ''rubber stamp'' of the Palace
Two of President Rodrigo Duterte's close allies assured the public that while they support the president, they will not be easily ordered by him too.
After the proclamation of winning senators Wednesday, Ronald Dela Rosa and Christopher ''Bong'' Go in separate interviews said they will not be a rubber stamp of the Malacanang.
"Never…he will not interfere (in my job) " said Bato.
"Do I look like a rubber stamp? I’m a senator. There is no rubber stamp in the Senate," said Go.
Asked what advice they received from the president, both said Duterte just wants them to serve the Filipino people.
“He told me, ‘Bato, you (are) the Senator of the Philippines not senator of Duterte. Do your job for the sake of Filipino because 19 million believed in your capacity’. So I told him: Yes sir, thank you,” Bato told reporters.
“Filipino first and you will never go wrong,” Go said.
The two senators have bills they want to work on once they assume their office in the Senate.
Both seek to re-impose the controversial death penalty but Dela Rosa wants to focus on drug traffickers while Go on heinous crimes where illegal drugs will also fall.
Go, former Special Assistant to the President, said he is eyeing the committee of health and education.
Go also wants to propose bills on creating a department for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and increasing salaries of public school teachers.
He said a department for OFW will help Filipinos to coordinate with other labor agencies.
“There is a lack of coordination. Sometimes they go to us, or on the radio asking for 'help,” Go explained.
“I will not limit myself for being a legislator. We should always work on everything,” he added.
Asked on the proposed federalism, Go said it’s still a “long way to go”.
Dela Rosa said he is okay with lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years old and he also wants police training to be handled by the Philippine National Police.
“Only in the Philippines that the police are not being trained by the PNP,” he said.
Both are still waiting for formal offer on what committee they will join.
Senator Panfilo Lacson is offering Dela Rosa the chairmanship of Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs which Senator Miguel Zubiri is also eyeing.
Dela Rosa said this will be decided in a proper discussion.
“We’ll talk who needs that committee more. We both belong to the majority,” he said.
Dela Rosa also wants drug awareness to be included in the country’s education curriculum.
“What I want is since the start of education until they finish college, they will be educated on the effects of illegal drugs,” he said.
Boosted by high overseas votes, Dela Rosa also wants to help distressed OFWs.
“Those who are detained, I want them to be given adequate legal assistance,” he said.
Dela Rosa clarified that he knows what the purpose of law is but what he wants to know is the process.
“I want to know the process. Like from my office, where will the bill go or whom will I give it to,” he explained.
He got criticized for winning a seat in the Senate but Dela Rosa shrugged those statements and just called them “bitter” as his critics' candidate did not win.
Go and Dela Rosa got third and fifth place with around a million votes coming from local and overseas voters.
They both thanked their supporters and promised they will not be corrupt.
After the proclamation, Dela Rosa said he is scheduled to meet some of his colleagues while Go said he will go back home to Davao City with the president.
Both senators were endorsed by Duterte himself. Ella Dionisio/DMS