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Dahil sa kanila nawalan ng trabaho! Trillanes scolds DOLE for inviting Bong Go to Boracay event

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By Xave Gregorio

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV took the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to task for inviting Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go’s to hand out assistance to workers displaced by Boracay’s closure.

Trillanes scolded DOLE Bureau of Labor Relations director Atty. Benjo Santos Benavidez for inviting politikos to the event, who he accused of being responsible for Boracay workers losing their jobs.

“Diba ito ngang sila Secretary Bong Go, itong sila [President Rodrigo] Duterte may kagagawan kung bakit nawalan sila ng trabaho? Tapos pi-picture pa sila doon sa aabutan [ng assistance] para may utang na loob pa ‘yung recipients doon?” Trillanes said Monday (July 16) during a Senate hearing on the rehabilitation of Boracay.

“‘Di ba kahiyaan na lang ‘yun? Dapat kayo (DOLE) na lang ‘yun eh. Kasi garapalan na ‘yung ganun na parang andudun siya (Go), parang may utang na loob pa kayo kasi binibigyan ko kayo,” he continued.

But Benavidez said they originally invited Duterte to grace the event because they were asking for his support for two of their programs: Pangkabuhayan sa Displaced Workers and the DOLE adjustment measure program.

“Kaya po namin hinihingi ‘yung suporta ng Presidente, because kailangan po namin ng budget. This may not be the last time that we will be having this number of displaced workers. Magkakaroon pa po tayo ng mga displacement,” Benavidez told Trillanes.

However, Trillanes insisted that politikos should not be invited to DOLE’s events, especially if they are to be blamed for workers losing their jobs.

“I’m not quesitoning ‘yung program ng DOLE. Maganda yung ginagawa niyo. Tingin ko, kailangang suportahan ‘yun,” Trillanes said.

“I’m talking about Duterte and Secretary Bong Go, na sila nga ang dahilan kung bakit na-displace ‘yung mga workers na ‘yan. ‘Yun ang aking punto. So kayo na lang ang gumawa. Dahil nagagamit pa [kayo,]” he said further.

Benavidez then conceded to Trillanes’ point.

Photos and videos posted on social media show Go, who is being urged by Duterte and his allies to run for senator in the next year’s polls, handing out assistance to workers in a DOLE event last July 8.

Streamers bearing his face and name were hung during the event while his jingle to the tune of “Bongga Ka ‘Day” blared through the speakers.

State-run Philippine Information Agency Western Visayas even reported that Go was there to “oversee and ensure the giving of financial assistance to displaced Boracay workers.”

Despite numerous banners and billboards scattered across Metro Manila and several appearances without his longtime boss Duterte, Go still says he is not running for senator.

Duterte ordered in April popular island destination Boracay closed for six months to address environmental woes, including poor water quality brought about by a lack of a proper sewerage system.

Since its closure, at least 10 of 885 structures found in violation of laws and regulations have been demolished.

Resort owners insist that Boracay did not have to be closed to rehabilitate the island destination, but the government says this is necessary to track down the sources of wastewater directly disposed into the drainage without treatment.