Duterte: Bong Go a âyacht-owner,â need not steal in frigate deal

In this Oct. 5, 2017, file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, listens to Special Assistant to the President Christopher Bong Go, during a change of command ceremony in Fort Bonifacio in, Taguig city, east of Manila, Philippines. Late Friday, Duterte says he's asked his finance secretary to reject an unspecified British financial aid package and that he's ready to lose diplomatic ties with all European countries critical of his deadly anti-drug crackdown. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

Duterte: Bong Go a ‘yacht-owner,’ need not steal in frigate deal
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - February 7, 2018 - 6:01pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday defended presidential aide Christopher “Bong Go” over his supposed interference in a multibillion-peso Navy frigate acquisition project.

Duterte cited that Go is already rich enough and need not steal in the questioned frigate deal.

“Itong Bong na ito… Itong si Bong, apo ito sa biggest printing press outside of Manila. Alam ‘yan ng mga taga-Davao, ‘yung Tesoro, likod ng UN, kanila ‘yan,” Duterte said in his speech during the 116th anniversary of the Bureau of Customs.

“Hindi na kailangang magnakaw ng frigate diyan, may yate na ‘yan e,” he added.

Duterte also encouraged Go to testify when he is called by the Senate. He called it a “golden opportunity” for his senatorial bid.

“Kaya sabi ko nga, there was a talk, sinabi sa kanya, ‘you’ll be called to testify.’ Sabi ko, ‘That is your golden opportunity para ma-senador ka.’ Gusto atang tumakbo ng senador,” the president said.

In jest, Duterte added that Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and chief presidential legal council’s plan to enter politics.

“Sige, si Bato gusto ring mag-governorSaan si Panelo? Isa pa rin ‘yun, artista,” Duterte added.

Go was implicated in the Philippine Navy's procurement of frigates after Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano asked if the special assistant to the president had information or knowledge in the deal.

The procurement of the combat management system of the Navy for its ships is part of the military's modernization program.

Duterte earlier criticized Rappler for being a “fake news outlet” after reporting Go’s alleged hand in the procurement project.

WATCH: Duterte's testy exchange with Rappler at media briefing

Go also previously denied the allegations against him and said he had not intervened in the procurement of the Department of National Defense of the computer system for its frigates.

Alejano urged Duterte to probe his aide over the supposed interference. The solon said  Duterte and Go's denial was a "glaring contradiction" to what some documents stated.

RELATED: Alejano: Duterte should probe Bong Go over Navy frigate issue

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