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Resbak! Trillanes seeks probe into Bong Go kin construction bonanza

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By Xave Gregorio

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV would be seeking a Senate probe into the construction firms of the father and half-brother of Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, which a Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) report revealed to be one of the top contractors in the region, despite not being capable to take on big-ticket projects on its own.

In a media briefing Monday (September 10), Trillanes said he would be filing a resolution this afternoon for a probe on Go’s kin’s booming construction business, which he flagged as “corruption.”

“Mga construction projects ito. So sa kompanya niya at ng kanyang pamilya. So maliwanag na corruption ‘yan. So maganda nang nangyari ito at nakikita ng kababayan natin,” Trillanes said.

Trillanes, who has holed up in his office in the Senate for almost a week out of fear of being arrested following President Rodrigo Duterte’s voiding of his amnesty, denied he is seeking revenge in calling for a probe into the Go family’s construction firms.

“Sa atin, ginagawa ito lahat kasi ito na ‘yung dati nating ginagawa mula’t sapul. Kung may revenge, sila ‘yun. Kasi hindi naman ako nagiimbento,” Trillanes said.

According to the PCIJ, CLTG Builders and Alfrego Builders and Supply, owned by Go’s father, Deciderio, and half-brother, Alfredo, are among the top contractors in the Davao region, where P24.5 billion worth of government infrastructure projects remain unfinished in the region as “the same contractors are winning more and more contracts, grabbing more projects than they could finish well within their capability, and within deadline.”

In particular, CLTG Builders, which bears the initials of Bong Go, failed to finish all its projects by the original deadline in 2017. All in all, CLTG won P4.6 billion of projects from the Deprtment of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the past decade, winning more than half of that amount only last year.

Two senior government offcials and at least four contractors privy to procurement activities in Davao told the PCIJ that backroom deals are happening in order for certain companies to corner contracts even though they do not have the capability to take on projects.

CLTG explained that the delays they faced are due to unsetled road right of way issues and denied that Bong Go is involved in the construction firm named after him.

Bong Go likewise denied to PCIJ that he intervened in any way for CLTG to bag projects, an assertion which was also affirmed by DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.

Despite being approached by the PCIJ and airing his side, Bong Go claimed he “once again a victim of fake news and biased reporting” which he suspects to be “politically motivated” as he pops up in the senatorial slates of administration-allied parties.

In response, the PCIJ said that it stands by its story and takes exception to Bong Go’s statement.

“PCIJ had patiently waited for over wto months to get the side of Bong Go and his family members before the story ran,” it said in a statement. “We regret, however, that we could not grant a request they made for their companies not to be included anymore in the story.”