MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte denied allegations that he is being controlled by his longtime aide Senator Christopher "Bong" Go.
According to Duterte, Go is needed in the weekly meeting with the Cabinet members as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.
"Kailangan ko si Bong actually, hindi sa lahat, pero si Bong is actually the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography. Health kanya eh, so mabuti na lang siya nandito," he said in a taped briefing aired late Monday.
(I need Bong, actually, not in everything, but Bong is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography. He is in charge of health, so he has to be here.)
"But he does not control anybody. He does not control me. He is here to do his duty, na may matanungan tayo agad (so we have someone we can ask)," Duterte added.
Earlier on Monday, retired military general Antonio Parlade, known for his stint as the mouthpiece of the government's anti-insurgency task force, filed his candidacy for president next year, as substitute of Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP) party.
He said he does not align with Go, whom he accused of controlling Duterte.
"I cannot align with SBG, I'm sorry. But kasama siya sa problema ng bayan natin... I just don’t like the way he does things, including controlling the decisions of the president," Parlade has said.
Go has denied the allegation.