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Malacanang defends Bong Go amid accusations of manipulating donated medical supplies distribution

Malacañang on Thursday slammed rumors that Senator Christopher “Bong” Go took advantage of a presidential directive on a centralized distribution of donated medical supplies and equipment to hospitals and other establishments.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Administrative Order 27 was not issued to provide Go, a former top aide of President Rodrigo Duterte, an avenue where he can manage the donations and be given credit for the same.

Panelo also denied that the importation of medical and health items into the country meant for donation are being put on hold at the Bureau of Customs until Go places his name to the packages prior to their release and distribution.

The rumors surfaced on social media after the Palace released to the media on Wednesday a copy of Duterte’s AO 27, which designated the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) as the main coordinating body for all donations to the government intended for COVID-19 response.

“The spread of these fake information is malicious and obviously done by the negative forces and detractors of the Duterte administration and its allies, designed to create confusion and foment hate against the government,” Panelo said.

Go has no access to the OCD and the senator will not meddle in the affairs of the agency, “such interference being out of his character,” the Palace spokesman said.

“Nor will Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana allow an intrusion from the outside regarding the work of the OCD. Senator Go has his own group of friends who are giving and receiving donations, and delivering them straight to their intended beneficiaries,” he added.

The senator has denied the rumors while the OCD described as "fake news" reports circulating online that its personnel have been raiding hospitals and confiscating medical supplies and equipment.

The Medical City in Pasig also denied that a raid took place in its premises on Wednesday.

“The Palace asks netizens to be circumspect in reading text messages or posts they see in their social media feeds. Re-posting or spreading them by word of mouth make them similarly liable for transgression of the law,” Panelo said.—AOL, GMA News