MANILA -- Members of President Rodrigo R. Duterte's Cabinet came in full force Monday to show their solid support for Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go who attended the Senate hearing on the Philippine Navy’s Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP).
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said the Cabinet officials are "all for one, one for all" behind Go in revealing the truth regarding the frigate controversy.
Go has been accused of having intervened in the FAP contract worth PHP18 billion, including its weapon systems and munitions. He has denied the allegation, saying he was unfairly dragged into the mess.
Attending the hearing are Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Political Affairs Adviser Francis Tolentino, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Go, during the hearing, insisted that he did not intervene in the acquisition of the frigates, nor did he interfere in the selection of its combat management system.
He also blamed irresponsible reporting and fake news for his reported link to the frigate deal. He noted that he is only being involved in the controversy to discredit President Duterte.
Go said the frigate contract, which he described as "photo finish", was rushed and signed at the end of the Aquino administration.
"I am confident that the Senate will be a vehicle of truth than be used to advance other self-serving interests. We place our full trust in the Senate to put an end to this," Go said.
The investigation by the Senate committee on national defense and security, headed by Senator Gregorio Honasan, as well as the Congressional Oversight Committee on the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Act, seeks to determine whether the acquisition of the combat ships "promotes the goals of the modernization program and complies with pertinent laws".
The investigation was initiated by opposition lawmakers in the Senate — Minority Leader Franklin Drilon along with Senators Francis Pangilinan, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Risa Hontiveros, Leila de Lima, and Antonio Trillanes IV —through Resolution No. 584. (PNA)