Go says he declared ‘everything’ in SALN; adds Duterte’s ‘billionaire’ remark just a joke
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said the President’s earlier “billionaire” remark about him was just a joke as he maintained that he declared “everything” in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
President Rodrigo Duterte has earlier defended Go from allegations that he intervened in the multi-billion-peso frigate aquisition project of the government, even calling his former aide a “billionaire.”
But in the latest summary of the senators’ SALN, Go ranked as the second poorest senator with a declared net worth of only more than P15 million as of June 30, 2019.
“Iyun po ang aking ari-arian. Dineclare ko po ang lahat, at diyan lang po ang inabot. ‘Yan po ang aking assets minus liabilities, hindi po ako tumakbo bilang senador para po makikipagpayamanan dito…if I am the poorest, so be it,” Go told reporters at the Senate on Thursday.
(Those are my properties. I declared everything, and it only amounted to that. My assets minus liabilities. I did not run for senator to become rich. If I’m the poorest, so be it).
Go added that the President’s comment about him being a billionaire was just said in jest.
“Hindi po ako bilyonaryo,” he said.
(I’m not a billionaire).
“Alam niyo naman si Pangulo, parati naman nagbibiro nang ganun, na ‘O si Bong, bilyonaryo…’ Parating nagbibiro si Pangulo. He was referring doon sa pamilya, pamilya as a whole,” he added.
(You know, the President, he’s fond of making jokes. ‘O, Bong is a billionaire…’ The President is always joking. He was referring to my family as a whole).
“Ibig pong sabihin ng Pangulo eh may kaya naman itong pamilyang ito sa Davao,” he further said, noting that his family owns a printing press in Davao City.
(What he meant was that this family is well-off).
Asked about his campaign spending, which was the highest among the winning senatorial bets, Go said a lot of people came forward to help with his campaign because he is close to the President.
“No’ng campaign, ako po yung closest to the President, ako yung pinaka maraming gustong tumulong,” he added.
(During the campaign, I’m the closest to the President. A lot of people came forward to help).
“Sa totoo lang, ako na po ang tumatanggi kasi ayoko pong ma-compromise ang ating Pangulo. Maraming hihinging pabor, kasi nakatulong. Hindi po kami ganun ni Pangulo. Gusto namin makakatrabaho kami ng walang bagahe at walang kompromiso,” he added.
(Truth be told, I was the one who was turning them down because I don’t want to compromise the President. Many will ask for favors because they helped. The President and I are not like that. We want to be able to work without any baggage, without any compromise).
Based on Go’s statement of contributions and expenses, which he filed before the Commission on Elections last June, he spent over P161 million for his campaign.
The said the amount mostly came from campaign contributions with only P415, 500 sourced from personal funds. /jpv
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