Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Monday warned recipients of the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) health emergency may face disqualification in the next distribution of assistance.
Go made this reaction following reports that some SAP recipients used the government aid to buy illegal drugs and engage in cockfighting despite the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the dreaded coronavirus.
“Ang tulong mula sa gobyerno, sabi nga ng Pangulo, ibigay na lang sa asawa, ibigay na lang sa anak. ‘Yung iba naman po ay isinasabong. Ibig sabihin, kung may pera naman pala kayo na pang-sabong, disqualified na sila dapat sa susunod na distribution (The cash aid from government, according to the President, should be given to the wife, their children. But others used in cockfighting. It means you have money, they should be disqualified in the next distribution),” said Go, former top aide of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a radio interview, Go advised recipients to spend the government aid conscientiously.
“Alam ninyo po, ‘wag ninyo po sayangin ang pera ng gobyerno. Ibili ninyo po ng pagkain. Ang dami-dami na po naghihirap na Pilipino sa ngayon (You know, don’t waste the money of government. Use it to buy food. Many Filipinos are suffering today),” he said.
Go reminded the public that the national government is struggling to allocate funds just to help individuals heavily affected by the ECQ.
“Tapos ibibili nyo lang ng droga. Sayang lang po, (But you just used it to buy drugs. It’s a waste of money),” he said.
A staunch supporter of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, Go warned the public about the negative effects of these substances.
“Kaya sabi ko noon pa, tuwing umiikot ako, ‘wag ninyo po aksayahin ang pera ninyo diyan sa droga na ‘yan dahil nakakasira ng utak ‘yan at damay po ang buong pamilya ninyo (That’s why I said before, don’t spend your money in illegal drugs because it will damage your brain as well as your family),” Go said.
On April 16, police authorities arrested a certain Clark Jerel Navalta in Bacoor City, Cavite after he allegedly bought shabu using the PHP6,500 he received from the SAP.
Some two beneficiaries were also disqualified from the program after they were reportedly caught engaging in cockfighting and violating government-imposed quarantine measures.