An investigation by Malacañang showed that the allegations against Special Assistant to the President Secretary Bong Go on the frigate project of the Philippine Navy were not true, a Palace spokesman said Thursday.
“An investigation has been conducted and it has been found that the allegations of Rappler are untrue and unfounded,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said at a briefing in Legazpi, Albay.
According to online news site Rappler, Go “intervened” in the selection of the combat management system of the two warships. Go has already denied the accusation, and was backed up by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzan.
Roque reiterated that there was no way Go could have intervened in the purchase of the two frigates—including the combat management system—because the winning bidder was declared during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.
“So again, I’d like to debunk the claim of Rappler that this combat system was procured separately from the frigates; hindi po. Iyong 15.7 billion na binili po nating frigates includes already this combat system and because this was already awarded to a Hyundai,” Roque said.
Rappler’s story irked President Rodrigo Duterte so much that he called the agency a “fake news outlet.” The Philippine Daily Inquirer also ran a similar story, but it said that Malacañang only “took special interest” in the Navy project. — MDM, GMA News