MANILA - Sen. Bong Go on Saturday lashed out on critics and spreaders of "fake news" as he decried allegations he used private coronavirus (COVID-19) donations for personal gain.
In an interview with state-run broadcast channel People's Television Network, the senator said allegations against him and President Rodrigo Duterte were meant to distract the administration.
"Gusto [nilang] siraan kami and they want to distract us para alam niyo... Ayaw nila tumulong po kami, by spreading fake news," Go said in a phone interview in the "Laging Handa" briefing.
(They just want to destroy our names and want to distract us. They don't want us to help, that's why they spread fake news.)
Posts circulating on social media alleged that the senator's name was promoted by a private company in donations for a certain hospital, and claimed that Office of Civil Defense (OCD) officers seized personal protective equipment of some private hospitals so these could be re-packaged and distributed to other medical centers.
Go had already denied the said allegations. In the PTV interview, Go warned spreaders of "fake news" that they will be made accountable under the Bayanihan to Heal As One act, which penalizes the spread of "misleading" information.
Private companies who Go earlier said sought guidance from him had the prerogative of including his name in donations, reiterating that he was not behind plastering his name on them.
"Hindi po namin iwasan maglagay ng pangalan 'yong [companies like] Lucio Tan Group without my knowledge para makarating sa pribadong ospital kasi po sa panahon na ito hindi kaya tugunan ng Department of Health ang lahat ng ospital para tapalan ang pagkukulang ng medical equipment," Go said.
(We can't stop companies like the Lucio Tan group from putting my name on the donations probably for supplies to reach private hospitals because at this point, the Department of Health can't fill in for the lack of equipment in all hospitals.)
"Hindi po namin kailangan recognition," he added.
(We don't need recognition.)
Go, the President's former aid, reiterated Duterte's call for the need to stay at home and cooperate to avoid the spread of the virus instead of criticizing government.