Duterte to fire Go if proven meddling in weapons system procurement

Published January 17, 2018, 11:44 AM

by Nida Ramos-Oribiana

By Genalyn Kabiling 

President Rodrigo Duterte said he would ask his assistant Christopher “Bong” Go to resign once it is proven that the latter meddled in a government transaction.

President Rodrigo Duterte (R) and Special Assistant to the President Christopher 'Bong' Go (Malacanang Photo/Handout via REUTERS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Special Assistant to the President Christopher ‘Bong’ Go (left) with President Rodrigo Duterte
(Malacanang Photo/Handout via REUTERS / MANILA BULLETIN)


The President, however, insisted that his close aide is a rich man unlikely to engage in any anomaly in government.

“You prove it to me…one word and I will tell him to resign,” the President said during a press conference at the launch of a new air traffic management system in Pasay City.

“Pero, for your information, mayaman ‘to [But, for your information, he is rich]. They own the biggest printing press in Mindanao, may newspaper rin ito [they have a newspaper, too],” he added.

The President started the media interview with a denial of news reports alleging Go, the Special Assistant to the President, with the rank of Secretary,  had intervened in the government selection of a weapon system supplier for the Philippine Navy’s frigate program.

“We do not intervene in the affairs of the Armed Forces,” Duterte said.  “We are just an office that receives complaints or papers for reference and we transmit them to the proper agency. We do not get any money. We are not interested in that,” he added.

He said it was unlikely for Go to intervene in a government project just to earn extra money.

“He seem to appear intervening because about money? The things that you are telling never happened,” he said.

“Hindi ako mag-yabang. Pero bilyonaryo ‘to, sa totoo lang. Punta kayong Davao, tanungin niyo kung sino ‘yan [I don’t want to boast but he is a billionaire. Go to Davao and ask who he is],” he added.

Go earlier denied reports that he was meddling in the Philippine Navy’s selection of a weapon system supplier for its frigate program by recommending a South Korean company.

“I have not intervened in the procurement of DND (Department of National Defense) of its computer system for its ships. I have not participated nor intervened, directly or indirectly, in the transactions of DND,” Go said.