Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday defended Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go over an accusation that the former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) is using government funds in his senatorial campaign in the May 13 mid-term election.
Año also called as “fake news” the claim of Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, a vocal critic of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte who is gunning for a Senate seat under the banner of the Otso Diretso Team of the opposition Liberal Party (LP), that government funds were spent for campaign materials of Go. Earlier, Alejano in a press statement alleged that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) authorized barangay officials to spend government funds for campaign materials with Go’s name that were distributed during the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas National Assembly in Manila held last February 25-27. “Thats a big fake news! Liga ng Barangay is an independent activity initiated by the national league officers. They have their own organizers. I provided the guidelines so that the activity is in accordance with the law,” Año said. “I will never allow any irregularity in my department much more spend fund for unauthorized activity. Yung gumawa ng allegations ang hanapan mo ng proof rather than entertaining fake news,” Año told reporters who sought his reaction to the allegation of Alejano. Go has described Alejano as “utak alimango” for peddling fake news against him. Alimango (crab), is a popular disparaging byword heaped by critics on Alejano. “Hindi po alimango ang utak ko (I do not have a crab mentality (like Alejano)),” senatorial candidate Go said in reaction to the accusation of Alejano that Go violated election laws during the national assembly of the village chiefs. Go, whose Senate bid in the May 13 mid-term election is backed by President Duterte, is in the line-up of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Lakas ng Bayan (PDP/Laban). Go is also in the roster of senatorial candidates of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), a Davao regional political party organized by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Go has assured no public money will be used in his senatorial campaign. He has also suggested to Año to remind leagues of LGUs and leagues of elective officials, such as Liga ng mga Barangay, to exercise political neutrality in their activities. Año said he knows that Go won’t allow nor tolerate illegal activities by the barangay officials. “I also know Bong Go will not allow barangay captains to spend a single centavo for him,” Año added.