SPECIAL Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go on Monday insisted that he never intervened in the P15.7-billion frigate deal of the Philippine Navy and that the supposed controversy was a product of “irresponsible reporting” and “fake news.”
“I [neither]intervene[d]in the acquisition of the two frigates by the DND (Department of National Defense) nor interfere[d]in the selection of its Combat Management System (CMS),” Go said in a prepared statement read during the hearing of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security on the frigate contract that was crafted during the term of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Go said he attended the inquiry primarily to clear his name and ultimately get to the bottom of the controversy so that the Filipino people may know the truth.
He noted that the multibillion-peso frigate acquisition only became an issue after two news organizations came out with allegations that he intervened in the process, which he said was “fake news”.
“Ang pinag-uusapan ngayon ay naging isyu lamang nang maglabas ang Rappler at Inquirer ng fake news at sinabing ako daw ay nakialam. Lahat ng ito ay nagsimula sa isang (this only made as an issue after Rappler and Inquirer come out with a fake news and claimed that I intervened. All of these started with) irresponsible reporting,” Go told the Senate panel.
The Malacañang official also said it was very difficult to answer allegations that he has nothing to do with in the first place.
Go maintained his innocence and said that his name was being dragged into the issue to destroy the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
He admitted, however, that the controversy was seriously derailing the implementation of the security program of the military, which could be the intention of those behind the allegation.
“This is really their intention… to block the implementation of this important security program and ensure that this administration will fail,” he said. “But we will not allow them to win because the truth is on our side.”
Go expressed wiliness to face the public hearing and refused to go on an executive session for the sake of transparency.
“I am confident that the Senate will be a vehicle of truth than be used to advance other’s self-serving interests. We place our full trust in the Senate to put an end to this,” he added. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA