MANILA Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go has lamented the irresponsible reporting of online news outlet Rappler, which came out with a report on his alleged intervention in the PHP18-billion Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP) of the Philippine Navy.
In a Senate inquiry on Monday, Go said he became a "victim of fake news" after Rappler posted a malicious story where they did not even ask or clarify from the officials of the Department of National Defense (DND) before releasing their story.
Both Rappler and the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported about the presidential top aide's supposed hand in the warships deal.
Rappler, sana sumulat naman kayo ng (mga) magagandang pangyayari. Makakatulog pa ba kayo niyan? Para na rin kayong nakapatay ng tao, makonsensya naman kayo. Biktima ako dito (Rappler, please write good stories too. Are you still able to sleep? It's like you killed a person. Please have a conscience. I was a victim here), Go noted.
Masyadong malisyoso. Iniintriga nila si SND (Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana), si (AFP Chief of Staff Rey Leonardo) Guerrero kay Pangulo (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) para magalit si boss sa kanila. Yan yung mga fake news na sinasabi ko (Too malicious. They are making intrigues about the SND and AFP Chief of Staff Guerrero so that President Duterte, our boss, would get mad at them. That's the fake news I am talking about), he added.
Go requested the Senate to continue its hearing on fake news, urging the body to invite Rappler and the Inquirer for spreading "malicious" reports.
"I am fully requesting the Senate to resume the hearings on fake news at ipatawag ang gumagawa nito. Sagutin niyo ang pag-iintriga, pang-uudyok, paninira (summon those who did this. Explain your acts of creating intrigues, and demolition job)," Go said.
"Ang problema sa fake news na ito ang satisfaction nila na sumulat ng paninira (The problem with this fake news is that their satisfaction is to write something malicious)," he added.
Go reiterated that he did not intervene in the frigate deal.
"Isa lang masasabi ko, ma at pa... malay ko at pakialam ko. Hindi ko alam yan (I only have one thing to say. I don't know and I don't care. I don't know anything about it), Go told reporters during an ambush interview.
In a separate chance interview, Communication Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson said the President's closest assistant was a "victim of rumors".
Former Philippine Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado has confirmed that Go never interfered in the warships deal.
"Secretary Bong Go never approached me to inquire and neither did he make any form of communication to influence," Mercado said.
Mercado was referring to allegations that Go tried to intervene in the acquisition of the Combat Management System for the two missile-capable frigates that are under contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries.
The FAP has a budget of PHP18 billion, including its weapon systems and ammunition.
Source: Philippine News Agency