TRILLANES SEEKS SENATE PROBE ON SAP GO RELATIVES’ CONTRACTS WITH DPWH
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Senator Antonio Trillanes pushed his “war” farther with Secretary Bong Go by bringing to the Senate the report of alleged cornering by his kin of projects in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Trillanes on Wednesday, September 12, filed a resolution seeking to look into a possible conflict of interest in government contracts awarded to firms owned by relatives of Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Go.
The opposition Senator, the most rabid critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, filed the resolution two days after Go said he had nothing to do with contracts of his relatives with DPWH.
On Monday, Trillanes said he would bring the case to the Senate for investigation, following a report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) about Go’s relatives having contracts with DPWH.
Reacting to this, Go said he would welcome and participate in any investigation adding that he would resign if the allegations were proven to be true.
Go also said Trillanes should resign if his claims are found to be false.
In Senate Resolution 889, filed with the Senate civil service committee, the senator cited the PCIJ report saying that most of the infrastructure funds of the DPWH in Region XI last year went to projects awarded to relatives of Go.
The report said that the top contractors in the DPWH XI are CLTG Builders and Alfrego Builders and Supplies, firms owned by Go’s father and stepbrother.
The PCIJ report, however, noted: “All three CLTG officers… invariably stressed that Bong Go had nothing to do with the company’s luck in winning projects.”
“Whereas, CLTG Builders caught the attention of PCIJ’s research because it failed to complete all of its joint-venture projects within the original deadline. CLTG also has a B license which means that it could not carry out a big-ticket project without having a partner,” said Trillanes in the resolution, quoting the PCIJ report.
Trillanes said that CLTG are the initials of Go — Christopher Lawrence Tesoro Go.
The senator said Go may have violated the law on conflict of interest among government officials in the conduct of government transactions.
Citing Article VII, Section 13 of the 1987 Constitution, Trillanes’ resolution said that government officials “ shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly, practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.”
In a radio interview earlier this week, Go called Trillanes a coward and welcomed any investigation into projects reportedly awarded to members of his family.
“I welcome any and all investigation or Senate inquiry that Trillanes will call in relation to my family’s alleged involvement in billions of pesos worth of projects. I am even asking Trillanes to start as soon as possible,” Go said.
In a statement on Monday, Go said Trillanes should be able to prove he had a hand in the awarding of infrastructure projects to his family or the senator should resign.
“In the course of the investigation, if my involvement will be proven and substantiated by facts and documents, I will immediately tender my resignation. But if the allegations are fake and concocted then my accuser, Senator Trillanes, should resign,” Go said.
“I welcome any, and all, investigation or Senate inquiry that Trillanes will call in relation to my family’s alleged involvement in ‘billions of pesos’ worth of projects. I am even asking Trillanes to start as soon as possible,” he said.
Go also had said in another statement that he had no hand in the awarding of the projects.
He said 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.