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Go speaks up for Duterte: End political circus

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearings on the alleged anomalous multibillion-peso procurement of COVID-19 supplies have turned into a “political circus,” Sen. Bong Go said yesterday as he defended President Duterte from accusations that he let friends and favored businessmen bag huge contracts.

Go spoke up for Duterte after a teary-eyed Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the committee, delivered an impassioned message to the President defending the investigation into the questionable procurement of P42 billion worth of face masks, face shields, test kits and other pandemic supplies.

“President Duterte is kind to those who wish to help. But it is not our custom to grant favors to friends or businessmen,” Go said in Filipino. “We don’t need to because we are content with what God has given us.”

“The problem here is that, some keep on insisting that a person is close to us and the President. But just because that person is close to us, it means we grant favors. You are mistaken,” he said.

“What do you want to happen here? Try to connect (anomalies) to the administration, to President Duterte and make this hearing into a political circus?” he said, cursing at one point.

He said Duterte has already stated that the committee may pursue cases against those who may be behind corrupt deals, if there are any, including executives of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., which is being linked to the President’s former economic adviser Michael Yang.

“It would be another matter if the President and I engaged in a cover up. But we’re telling you now, charge, prosecute and jail (those responsible) if there are anomalies… we have the Sandiganbayan,” he said.

He cited Yang as an example, saying while he and Duterte have known each other since the late 1990s, he was not granted special favors.

Go said he himself witnessed Duterte telling Yang that if he found out that the businessman was engaged in some wrongdoing, especially the illegal drug trade, “I will bury you in Davao.”

He said that while he understands the need for the committee to find out the truth, Go said Duterte is being judged based merely on speculations.

The senator appealed to his colleagues to use the forum to bring out the truth, but with fairness.

He also appealed to resource persons to tell the truth so that issues could be clarified and that the “innocent would be spared.”

Go expressed hope that the hearing would conclude soon so that summoned officials could focus on fighting the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Rose Nono-Lin, corporate treasurer of Pharmally Biological Corp., cried foul over Sen. Risa Hontiveros’ social media posts that involved her children.

Lin appeared before the hearing to debunk allegations that she was involved in the alleged procurement as Pharmally Biological, formed in 2017, was different from the Pharmally – set up in 2019 – that dealt with the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management.

Lin requested the assistance of Gordon in taking down the images of her children reportedly posted in such a way that could link them to drug trade accusations against her husband.

“It’s clear that no cases have been filed against me before the courts. But because of the destructive posts in social media, I and my family are being bullied, demeaned and judged,” Lin told the committee in Filipino.

She also defended her husband Weixiong Lin, whose name is being linked to a certain Wen Li Chen and the drug trade.

“My husband’s only name is Weixiong Lin. He is in the picture but he is not Allan Lim and my husband has nothing to do with the illegal drug trade,” she said.

Hontiveros, however, said the photos she used in her posts were taken from Lin’s social media pages.

BONG GO
Philstar
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