By Hannah L. Torregoza
Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go yesterday reiterated that he had nothing to do with the P15.5-billion frigate acquisition project which he said became controversial due to “irresponsible reporting.”
Go, testifying at the Senate inquiry on the project, said the most difficult thing to do is to answer an allegation that he has no knowledge of.
“Sa totoo lang po, sobrang hirap sagutin ang mga bintang na wala ka namang kinalaman,” he said.
Go said the deal was done just before the Aquino administration ended. “I’m innocent and I was linked to this issue just to malign the administration of President Duterte.”
Go maintained that he did not intervene in the acquisition of the two warships which is part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines modernization program.
“I did not intervene in the acquisition of the two frigates by the Department of National Defense nor interfere in the selection of its Combat Management System,” he said.
Go blamed the malicious reporting of some media outlets on the controversial navy frigate deal. He identified an online news website and a national news daily for propagating “fake news” and publicizing he allegedly intervened in the selection of combat management systems supplier for the Philippine Navy’s two frigates.
Go said because of fake news, the Senate is now conducting a hearing on the issue.
He said he decided to speak at the Senate inquiry “primarily for the purpose of clearing my name” and to get to the bottom of the frigate controversy “so that the Filipino people may know the whole truth.”
“Because all of this started from irresponsible reporting, I would also like to sincerely request the Senate to continue with the hearing and investigation of fake news. And you can also summon Rappler and Inquirer in the next hearing so that you can ask them on what they have written. I am not the only victim here, we are many,” Go said.
Before coming to the Senate, Go said he was advised by President Duterte to tell only the truth.
“That being said, I have no reason to cower and hide behind an executive session. I’m ready to face all these accusations in a public hearing,” he said.
Go insisted that the frigate deal was done during the Aquino administration and the Duterte government only had to implement the contract.
“Tapos na po ito sa panahon ng Aquino administration. Walang nabago, walang binago, walang nakialam, at walang pinakialaman sa kontrata. Pangit man pakinggan, pero matatawag na photo finish ang kontrata, dahil hinabol po ito bago matapos ang Aquino administration.”
“Inosente at idinamay lang po ako sa isyung ito upang siraan ang administrasyon ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go said.