MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte’s top aide, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, described as “malicious” an investigative report that his relatives were among Davao City’s top contractors.
In an article published on Thursday, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) reported that documents from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) showed that companies owned by Go’s family are among the 10 biggest contractors of Davao City.
Go said the PCIJ report “seemed to be politically motivated” since it was released when groups have pushed him to join the senatorial race for the 2019 mid-term elections.
“I find myself once again a victim of fake news and biased reporting. PCIJ’s report raised malicious issues against me,” Go said in a press statement on September 7.
The report was titled, “Firms of Bong Go kin, top contractors: Many JVs, delayed projects in Davao”.
“To this lucky set of top contractors in Davao Region belong two entities owned by the father and the half-brother of Special Assistant to the President, Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Tesoro Go: CLTG Builders and Alfrego Builders and Supply,” the PCIJ report said.
“The company that bears the initials of the presidential aide appears in Davao City’s 10 biggest contractors year on year from 2010 to 2017, according to DPWH data,” it added.
Go explained that although his father had been in the public works industry before he was born, he never allowed him to bid for projects in Davao City when Duterte was mayor.
“My father has been in the industry long before I was born. For delicadeza, I did not allow my father to bid in the projects of the City Government of Davao in all the 15 years when PRRD (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) was mayor,” Go said.
Duterte’s top aide claimed that his father and half-brother were simply “exercising their rights” when they participated in the bidding of projects with DPWH, either as sole contractor or as partner, which did not disqualify them from bidding.
“Being related to me does not disqualify them to bid. These projects are publicly bid anyway. I never intervened nor influenced the DPWH on how they bid or award these projects. My office does not control DPWH to begin with,” Go said.
Go, meanwhile, vowed to resign immediately if the PCIJ report could be proven, stressing that he was never involved in corruption.
“I have never been involved in corruption in the government. I have protected my name over the years. If anyone can prove that I spoke with DPWH or any other agency involved in the funding of these projects, I will resign immediately!” Go said.
Duterte earlier said he will fully support his special assistant’s senatorial bid despite Go saying he has no plan to join the Senate. PNA-northboundasia.com