The family of President Duterte’s former aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, enriched themselves by as much as P6.6 billion in government contracts, P5.1 billion of which were awarded during the first two years of the President’s term, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said on Monday, July 5.
In his vlog, “TRX: Trillanes Explains,” Duterte’s staunchest critic said that the construction companies of Go’s father and half-brother amassed billions’ worth of projects in the Davao region alone despite having only a “B” license from the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB).
He quoted the 1987 Constitution and Republic Act 7080, or most commonly known as the Plunder Law, that prohibits “the President, Vice President, Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants” from participating in any government project.
“Kung matatandaan ninyo bago naging senador si Bong Go noong 2019, siya ang Special Assistant ni Duterte simula pa nung 1998. Sa madaling salita, may paglabag sa batas ang mga ginawang pagkaka-award ng mga government contracts sa tatay at kapatid ni Bong Go (If you will remember before Bong Go became senator in 2019, he was Duterte’s special assistant since 1998. In short, there is a violation of the law in the awarding of government contracts to the father and brother of Bong Go),” Trillanes said.
“At dahil bilyun-bilyun ang halaga ng mga kontratang ito, ano ang krimeng ginawa? Plunder. Maliwanag na ginamit ni Bong Go ang kaniyang posisyon (And because the contracts are worth billions, what was the crime committed? Plunder. It is clear that Bong Go used his position), in connivance with and obvious consent of Duterte as mayor and later on as President, para makinabang ang kanyang pamilya (so his family can benefit),” he added.
Under the law, plunder is defined as “Any public office, who, by himself or in connivance with members of his family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates or other persons, amasses, accumulates or acquires ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series of overt or criminal acts in the aggregate amount of P50 million.”
The punishment for plunder is reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.
Citing records from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Trillanes noted government contracts in the Davao region were awarded to two contractors: the CLTG Builders and the Alfredo Builders & Supply.
CLTG, the former senator said, stands for Christopher Lawrence Tesoro Go. It is owned by his father, Desiderio Go. Alfredo Builders & Supply is owned by Alfredo Amero Go, the half-brother of Go.
“Pag i-total ang mga projects na nakuha ng tatay at half-brother ni Bong Go, ito ay aabot sa P6.6 billion. Specifically, P1.5 billion nung mayor pa lang si Duterte sa Davao City, habang P5.1 billion worth of projects naman ang nakuha ng pamilya ni Bong Go nung unang dalawang taon pa lamang na pagka-Presidente ni Duterte (If you total the projects that Go’s father and half-brother got, it will amount to P6.6 billion. Specifically, P1.5 billion when Duterte was still mayor of Davao City while Go’s family got P5.1 billion worth of projects in the first two years since Duterte became president),” he said.
Trillanes, who is now a professor, provided a breakdown of the government projects.
From March 25 to May 2018, CLTG Builders got a total of 125 projects totaling P4.89 billion. That’s aside from the P3.2 billion worth of some 27 projects CLTG got in 2017.
All of these projects are located in Davao City or the Davao region, with most of them for road-widening.
Trillanes’ revelation came after he promised to reveal a corruption expose against Duterte and Go. Last week, he joined the verbal exchange between Duterte and Senator Manny Pacquiao who alleged that the current administration is more corrupt than its predecessors.
Trillanes said that the biggest contracts awarded to CLTG Builders amounted to P251.7 million, P208.8 million, P187.9 million, P182 million, and P177 million.
On the other hand, citing documents from the Commission on Audit (COA), he said that Alfredo Builders received 59 projects from June 2007 to July 2018 amounting to P1.74 billion. In 2018, it was awarded 23 projects amounting to P1.3 billion.
Some of the biggest contracts awarded to Alfredo Builders amount to P181.5 million, P140 million, P132.5 million, P108 million, and P93 million.
Aside from being prohibited by law, Trillanes said that B license contractors such as the CLTG Builders and Alfredo Builders should never have been awarded such large contracts.
This license means the minimum net worth of the company is P10 million and is not eligible to bid for government projects worth hundreds of millions.
But the former senator said that Go’s family was able to circumvent this law because they entered into joint venture partnerships with AAA companies or those with a minimum net worth equity of P180 million.
“Pero kung titingnan natin ang mga kontrata nila with DPWH, mismong ang tatay ni Bong Go na si Desiderio Go and identified na contractor at siya pa rin ang nakapirma dito (But if we look at their contract with DPWH, Bong Go’s father Desiderio Go is the one identified as the contractor and his signature appears there),” Trillanes stressed.
“Ganun din sa kontrata ng Alfredo Builders. Mismong half brother ni Bong Go na si Alfredo Go, ang identified as contractor ng project at siya rin mismo ang nakapirma rito (It’s the same in the contract of Alfredo Builders. Bong Go’s half-brother Alfredo Go is identified as the contractor of the project and he’s the one who signed it),” he added.
The professor said he will file a case against the Chief Executive once he steps down from power, adding that he cannot do so now because Duterte will use his power to escape liability.