“When the Navy frigate anomaly first broke, Malacañang was quick to deny its involvement, to the point of saying that it was merely fake news. Now, President Duterte admitted that he personally acted upon the matter,” Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines via AP
Palace changes tune on P16 billion frigates deal — Alejano
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - October 21, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano yesterday accused Malacañang of changing its tune on the controversial P16-billion frigates procurement by the Philippine Navy.

“When the Navy frigate anomaly first broke, Malacañang was quick to deny its involvement, to the point of saying that it was merely fake news. Now, President Duterte admitted that he personally acted upon the matter,” he said.

Alejano said the admission was different from the statements the President and his former special assistant Christopher “Bong” Go made when the Senate was investigating the deal.

“They were trying to make it appear that the President had no knowledge on the matter. This information (admission) was also not disclosed during the Senate hearing, considering its implications on the whole context. It turns out that the President himself acted on the white paper of Hyundai Heavy Industries,” Alejano said.

He added Malacañang misled the public on an issue involving corruption.

It was Alejano who had exposed a document in which Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had a marginal note asking then Navy chief Ronald Mercado to prepare a response to issues raised about the frigates procurement.

The note partly stated: “This was given to me by Bong Go. Go over it and prepare a report/rebuttal to be submitted to the President.”

Lorenzana “unceremoniously” relieved Mercado for his alleged lack of cooperation in the procurement process. 

The then Navy chief wanted a combat system for the two frigates different from what the Department of National Defense (DND) was proposing. He also questioned DND’s choice of a combat system supplier.

“This admission of the President on his personal involvement on the Navy frigate anomaly is a vindication of what I have been saying,” Alejano, a former Marine captain, said.

He said Lorenzana and Go did not act promptly on the corruption issues surrounding the transaction without instruction from the President.  

“Secretary Go’s defense that he was merely acting on a simple complaint out of the thousands that they receive would already be difficult to believe when the President himself actually dipped his hands into it,” he said.

Alejano added that he has been pursuing his inquiry into the Navy frigates procurement.
“Despite the consummation of the project, my office continues to act on this matter and to seek the truth. We have been trying to secure more relevant documents, but to no avail. It’s now clear why they are refusing to give us documents,” he lamented. 

Nonetheless, Alejano vowed to pursue his investigation.

FRIGATES PROCUREMENT PHILIPPINE NAVY
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