Duterte to Bong Go: Tell the truth about Navy frigate deal

AS THE Senate begins Monday, February 19, its inquiry into the Philippine Navy's frigate acquisition deal, President Rodrigo Duterte advised Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go to tell nothing but the "truth."

Go will face the Senate national defense and security committee at around 9:30 a.m. Monday to shed light on his alleged role in the controversial P15.7-billion acquisition of the two frigates' Combat Management Systems (CMS).

Go will be accompanied by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. to the hearing, which the President will reportedly monitor.

Asked what was Duterte's advice to him, Go said he was told to "(tell) the truth only."

Go was accused of showing interest in the selection of the CMS supplier. He has denied the allegations and emphasized that he had "no information nor knowledge of the said transaction."

According to reports, Duterte's special aide had purportedly shown preference for South Korean-based Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) as the weapons system supplier.

Malacañang earlier defended Go, saying that the curent administration's role in the Philippine Navy's project was merely "ministerial" since HHI was announced as the winning bidder on June 9, 2016, or three weeks before President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office on June 30 in the same year.

On Sunday, February 18, Roque said he was confident that Go will be able to clear his name since the allegations hurled against Duterte's most-trusted aide was "untrue and unfounded."

"Expect Secretary Go to tell all, and as instructed by the President, he would likely demand for an open and transparent Senate inquiry to show that he – and the administration – has nothing to hide as he would squarely answer questions, in full view of the public," he said. (SunStar Philippines)
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