Ex-Navy chief absolves Bong Go anew on frigate deal
Former Flag-Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado has again cleared Special Assistant to the President Bong Go from the P15.7-billion Philippine Navy frigate deal controversy.
During Monday’s Senate hearing on the frigate acquisition project, Go, the closest aide of President Rodrigo Duterte said: “Let me reiterate as regards to the January 2017 letter, Sec. Bong Go never approached me to inquire about the frigate acquisition project neither did he make any form of communication to influence my decision making as the end user and as the flag-officer-in-command of the Philippine Navy.
Go attended the first hearing of the Senate of the Navy’s frigate deal along with other members of the Duterte Cabinet.
He was accused of meddling in the project after his name was included in some documents related to the deal. Duterte himself came into Go’s defense and denied his aide’s involvement in the project.
Mercado was relieved from his position in December 2017 for his supposed insubordination and insistence on a supplier for the combat management systems (CMS) for the frigate project.
“I have never disobeyed any lawful order of my superior. I have never been accused nor convicted of malfeasance,” Mercado said in his opening statement in the Senate hearing. /kga