By Genalyn D. Kabiling
President Duterte has advised his special assistant Christopher Go to insist on an “open” Senate inquiry on the P15-billion Philippine Navy frigate procurement deal.
The President said Go should not agree with any proposal to conduct an executive session, that will be away from public view, about the military contract.
“He was told that he will be called to testify but I said it will be under an executive session meaning to say it’s not open to everyone,” Duterte said in a press conference in Davao City.
“I told him, ‘Do not agree to that. Demand and ask for an open, transparent, in public,'” he added.
Go earlier denied allegations that he had intervened in the military procurement contract, particularly in the selection of the supplier of the combat management system of the ships. He has expressed readiness to appear before a congressional inquiry if invited to clear his name.
Duterte, in his remarks Friday, explained that the Navy ships were actually contracted during the term of his predecessor.
“It was ready for delivery but for the armaments that Hyundai wants to install because they built a ship and (Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph) Mercado, the chief of the Navy, wanted another armament placed there on top of the ship of Hyundai,” he said.
“That got him into a quarrel with (Defense Secretary Delfin) Lorenzana,” he added.