By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana stood firm in
emphasizing that retired Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.’s claims that
President Rodrigo Duterte was being controlled by Senator Christopher
“Bong” Go, or anyone for that matter is baseless.
“In the years I have known the President, he has always been his own
man. The President stands by his own decisions, has always been firm
in his directives to us who are working for him, and is not as easily
swayed or influenced by others as purported by the general,” Lorenzana
said in a statement.
According to Sec. Lorenzana, Bong Go has assisted the DND in ensuring
the doubling of the salaries of the uniformed personnel as directed by
the President. He has also been consistent in strongly supporting DND
in all its programs and modernization efforts as attested by the
“In all these endeavors, Bong Go’s support to the DND and AFP has not
abated. He has always been our main bridge to the President and I have
not known any instance when SBG acted outside the wishes and decisions
of the President,” Lorenzana emphasized.
Lorenzana added that the AFP remains a professional organization that
continues to work in the interest of the Filipino people, regardless
of the prevailing political landscape.
“There is no truth to the allegations that there is brewing trouble or
discontent in the AFP,” Lorenzana clarified.
Meanwhile, Go also refuted former counterinsurgency task force
spokesperson Parlade’s claim that he ‘controls’ President Duterte’s
decisions, noting that he just assists in ensuring that such decisions
are implemented well.
“Nasagot na mismo ni Pangulong Duterte na walang nagkokontrol sa
kanya, may mga statement siya, siya mismo ang nagsabi na hindi naman
siya magiging pangulo kung pinapaikot lang siya ng ibang tao. Matalino
po ‘yang Pangulong Duterte, naging pangulo nga ‘yan eh at
iginagalang,” said Go in a radio interview on Monday, November 15.
“So desisyon niya po ‘yan, tanging siya lang po ang gumagawa ng
kanyang magagandang desisyon, at tumutulong lang po ako sa kanya mula
po noon. Hanggang ngayon tumutulong pa rin po ako sa kanya. Pero hindi
ibig sabihin eh ako po ang nagde-desisyon,” he added.
Go cited the increasing the salaries of the uniformed personnel as one
of these decisions that benefitted the armed forces, among others.
In 2018, President Duterte signed Congress Joint Resolution No. 1
which doubled the base pay of a private in the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, police officer I in the Philippine National Police, and
equivalent ranks in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau
of Fire Protection, Philippine Public Safety College, Philippine Coast
Guard, and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.
“Halimbawa, nabanggit kanina ni Gen. Parlade maraming mga desisyon at
isa narito ang pagdoble at pagtaas ng suweldo ng ating mga uniformed
personnel na nakabuti sa, nakakabuti sa morale ng lahat ng kasapi ng
Armed Forces, PNP, Bureau of Fire (Protection), BJMP at Coast Guard,”
“Sa totoo lang po, ako ang inutusan ni Pangulong Duterte dahil nangako
siya noong 2016 at naisakatuparan nitong 2018, pinaghirapan natin ito
sa legislation, sa executive, pinirmahan ni Pangulong Duterte.
Ngayon po doble ang sahod ng entry position ng Armed Forces at iba
pang uniformed personnel,” he added.
While he said he has no rift with Go, Parlade told the media on Monday
that he “cannot align with a President Bong Go.”
“I don’t like the way he does things, including controlling the
decisions of the president,” Parlade claimed.
Go, on the other hand, said that he does not want to argue with
Parlade and that he continues to respect him.
“Ayaw ko na pong makipagsagutan kay Gen. Parlade dahil nirerespeto ko
siya. At sa katunayan po nakakausap ko naman po ‘yan siya. Isa rin po
ako sa nagrekomenda sa kanya na maging Undersecretary ni Sec.
(Hermogenes) Esperon at alam nila ang katotohanan,” said Go.
“Umiinit na po ang pulitika pero hayaan natin ang taumbayan ang
humusga pagdating ng panahon. Katulad ng sinabi ko, mas kailangan
nating tutukan ang pagtulong sa ating kapwa Pilipino habang tayo’y
unti-unti bumabangon mula sa krisis na ito,” he added.
In the meantime, Go added that despite his candidacy, he will continue
to focus on his duties and responsibilities as a public servant and
work to assist the country overcome the pandemic.
“Ako, uunahin ko po parati ang kung ano po ang makakabuti sa gobyerno
at para sa bayan — interes po ng mga kababayan natin. Serbisyo lang
ako at ipaglalaban ko parati ang interes at kabutihan ng bawat
Pilipino,” he ended. (ai/mtvn)