MANILA -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday clarified that Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go did not take credit for the relief goods given to fire victims in Sampaloc, Manila last Sunday.
This, after a photo circulated on social media claiming that the presidential assistant distributed relief goods allegedly from DSWD, citing it as a premature campaign for a Senate seat.
In a statement, the social welfare department said the photo making rounds online "was uploaded with malicious intent."
DSWD said the presidential aide went to the barangay on Sunday bringing assistance, including food, grocery packs, bags, clothes and financial assistance for the 270 families affected by the fire which razed 80 houses in Sampaloc.
It was also during this time, it said, that the local government was distributing the relief goods provided by DSWD-National Capital Region as augmentation assistance to the city government.
We should be discerning of the motive involved in uploading and disseminating the photo," DSWD Acting Secretary Virginia N. Orogo said.
Orogo said Go personally distributed his own goods upon the instruction of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
She clarified that while Go helped distribute goods from the DSWD, he never claimed these as his.
The DSWD official said Go also went to other areas affected by disaster with his friends to distribute goods, not just in Sampaloc.
Everybody is welcome to help during times of disaster," Orogo said.
In an interview with radio DZMM, Go has doused speculations that his presence in the distribution of goods was a form of electioneering, saying the relief goods distributed were a mix of government assistance and personal donations from his peers in the private sector.
"We went there to bring assistance, and it's different because the shoes and clothes I gave were mine. They were personal items. My friends also donated shoes and grocery packs. These were personal too," he said in Filipino.
During his visit, the President's long-time aide said Duterte sent him to "personally oversee the distribution and extend other assistance that the Office of the President can provide." (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency