Duterte will likely watch Bong Go testimony at Senate hearing on frigate deal

Published February 15, 2018, 4:34 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte will likely watch the testimony of his aide Christopher Go in the next week’s Senate hearing into the controversial deal to acquire frigates for the Philippine Navy.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque admitted that the President was interested to know the development in the Senate hearing.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“I would think so. He would be very curious as to what will happen to that hearing. I’m sure it will be televised,” Roque said during a Palace news conference, when asked if the President will watch Senate’s proceedings on Monday.

To show support for a fellow public servant, Roque said he would also accompany Go, the special assistant to the President, to the Senate next week.

The President earlier asked Go to press for an “open and transparent” Senate inquiry into the military contract. Duterte said Go should oppose any move for an executive session that will be closed to the public.

Go has been accused of intervening in the military procurement contract, particularly in the selection of the supplier of the combat management system of the ships. But Duterte’s top aide has denied the allegation and expressed readiness to appear before a congressional inquiry to clear his name.

The Palace earlier said Go could not have meddled in the contract, which was finalized during the previous administration.

Duterte recently claimed that a complaint was lodged before the Palace on why there was no delivery of the frigate deal yet for the winning bidder. He also said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and former Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado had a quarrel over which company should supply the combat system of of the Navy ships.