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Bong Go bares his back to deny alleged link to drug syndicate

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Senatorial aspirant, Christopher ‘Bong’ Go bares his back to deny his alleged links to an illegal drug syndicate.

Senatorial aspirant and former Special Assistant to the President Christopher ‘Bong’ Go on Wednesday bared his back to refute his alleged links to an illegal drug syndicate.

Go showed off his back to debunk claims he has a tattoo as mentioned in a series of videos uploaded by a certain ‘Bikoy’.

In the third installment of videos entitled, “Ang Totoong Narco List,” ‘Bikoy’ tagged Go as one of the big bosses in a drug syndicate who allegedly owns four local bank accounts where drug money is funneled. He alleged that Go used the codename “TESOROGOLF-TSG002,” which supposedly represents the former presidential aide’s full name Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Tesoro Go.

Bikoy, who claimed to be a former member of a drug syndicate operating in Luzon and Visayas, said Go has a dragon tattoo on his back that bears the alphanumeric code “COATLIBRA-0018” from the drug transactions.

At a campaign sortie in Agusan del Sur on Wednesday, Go dispelled the accusations by baring his back.

Former Presidential aide Bong Go bares his tattoo-less back to debunk his alleged links to a drug syndicate. | Photo by Bong Go

There was no tattoo on his back but there were circular marks, which Go said were due to ventosa cupping therapy.

In another campaign sortie in Laguna on Monday, Go denied having a tattoo and accused his political opponents of employing “desperate” tactics.

“Hindi pa po ako nagkaroon ng tatoo kailanman sa  buhay ko, balat po marami ako sa likod,” he said.   

(I never had a tattoo. Birth marks, I have many on my back)

He also denied involvement in the drug ring, stressing that his former boss and still close ally – President Rodrigo Duterte – abhors illegal drugs.

Malacañang has dismissed the allegations against Go, and presidential son Paolo Duterte who was also tagged as among the principals of a drug syndicate, as mere propaganda.

“We’ve been saying all along that that was a black propaganda. There are people who believe it, hook, line, and sinker. It’s now showing that it’s not true. It’s never been true,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. – Robie de Guzman/Roderic Mendoza

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Amid rumors: Palace says Duterte is OK, working while out of public eye

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte and former SAP Bong Go enjoying their classic Filipino merienda. The photo was originally posted on Go’s Facebook account, disproving rumors that the Chief Executive is confined in a hospital. | Courtesy: Bong Go

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday assured that there is nothing to worry about regarding the health of President Rodrigo Duterte amid fresh rumors about his condition fueled by a week-long absence from the public eye.

Speculations circulated over the weekend that the president was confined at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City after suffering a cardiac or respiratory arrest.

The chief executive was last seen during the May 13 polls when he cast his ballot in Davao City.

But Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said there is no truth to this rumor, adding that President Duterte is in his residence at the Palace, signing papers and working privately when not attending public engagements.

“Ang President, pag di ninyo nakikita, nagtatrabaho yun. Ayaw niyang naiistorbo yun, kasi pag nalabas siya, ang daming gustong makipag-usap sa kaniya,” he said.

“Ang focus niya ay signing papers, reading documents, memo hindi niya ginawa so he decided to stay put,” he added.

Panelo also said that the President sounded cheerful when they talked over the phone, however, he would not say whether he went to the hospital or not.

“Sabi niya, ‘I neither confirm nor deny, you draw your own conclusions’,” Panelo quoted the president as saying, adding that Duterte will inform the public if he is facing a serious health concern.

“Let me assure the nation, if there is anything wrong with the president’s health, serious or not to be of our concern, he will tell us, and he said so himself, many times over,” Panelo said.

On Sunday, former presidential special assistant Bong Go released photos of the President posing with daily broadsheets and sharing a meal in his residence in Malacañang.

Duterte’s common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña also belied rumors that the president was rushed to the hospital.

Speculations on Duterte’s health is no longer new as these are often sparked by his prolonged absences from the public eye.

In 2018, the 74-year old president admitted to undergoing a medical checkup to examine a growth found inside his digestive tract. He also said he needed to undergo some medical procedures for his gastrointestinal ailment.

READ: Duterte quells death rumors, appears on live stream

In February 2019, rumors about the president’s death circulated online. He later appeared in a video to end speculations. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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Names that stand out in House speakership race of the 18th Congress

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Sunday, May 19th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: House of Representatives (UNTV News)

The names of Lord Allan Velasco, Martin Romualdez, Alan Peter Cayetano and Pantaleon Alvarez have been floating to be the next leader in the House of Representatives (HOR).

Both Romualdez and Velasco were endorsed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the campaign rallies of Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

President Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, purportedly wants Cayetano to hold the reigns in the House.

And Alvarez, the first choice of the President to lead the last Congress, is making a return.

But now that former Senator Loren Legarda and Presidential son, former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte had been proclaimed winners in their districts, the list of possible Speaker of the House has gotten longer.

According to PDP-Laban campaign manager, Senator Manny Pacquiao, they will still wait until the proclamation of all the winners in the midterm elections has been completed before they set a meeting with the party to select the next House Speaker and Senate President.

“We still have to deliberate on that, but we need to finish the proclamation first before we discuss the talks for Senate President. It will be an internal discussion,” said Pacquiao.

So far, Mayor Duterte who sits as the Hugpong ng Pagbabago Regional Party head is yet to announce her chosen one.

In one of her earlier statements, Sara said that she will support anyone as long as that person supports her father.

“So walay choice of one but ang ginatan-aw namu kung kinsa and supporter ni President Duterte [there is no choice of one but what we are looking for is who among them supports President Duterte] because we need the House of Representatives to move towards the direction of the President,” the mayor added.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Liberal Party secretary general Congressman Kit Belmonte said that dictatorship is expected to remain in the lower chamber especially now that there is only 18 of them who made it in the elections.Our last count is 18 representatives so far – not much different from our numbers in the current Congress. Which means you can expect the same tyranny from the supermajority,” Belmonte said.

The newly elected members of the House of Representatives will begin their term on June 30. (with reports from Grace Casin) /mbmf

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Malacañang expects Go, Bato, Tolentino to be independent as senators

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

(L-R) Former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, former special assistant to the president Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (May 16) said it expects incoming senators, particularly those who are close allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, to be independent when it comes to issues involving national interest.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement following concerns that the check and balances in government may be affected as administration-backed Senate bets look set to join the upper chamber of Congress.

Partial and unofficial count from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showed that nine Senate bets endorsed by Duterte are in the top 12.

These are reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar, former special assistant to the president Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, House Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano, reelectionist senators Sonny Angara and Koko Pimentel, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and former Senator Bong Revilla.

Three of them – Go, Dela Rosa and Tolentino – are known close allies of Duterte.

Panelo, however, believes that the three will do their job well and always put first the best interest of the nation.

 “It’s just happened that they are very close to the president but that doesn’t mean they will be subservient,” he said.

“Whether or not Senate or Congress is dominated by the allies of whoever is incumbent, we expect them to pass economic reforms that will be beneficial to the Filipino people. The issue on whether you are an ally or not should not be discussed,” he added.

Panelo stressed that the mandate of the Congress is to pass laws that will be beneficial for the people.

“It’s about time to eradicate the discussion on parties’ consideration. That is where we fail,” he said.

Aside from Duterte’s allies, other senatorial candidates who are in the winners’ circle based on partial tally are reelectionist senators Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, and former senator Lito Lapid. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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