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By Prince Golez

Senator Bong Go, a longtime aide of President Rodrigo Duterte, has no access to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the agency tasked to distribute all donations for the government’s campaign against the coronavirus disease, Malacañang clarified.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement in response to information being circulated that Duterte signed Administrative Order No. (AO) 27 to provide Go an avenue where he can manage the donations and be given credit for the same.

News that donations of medical and health items are put on hold at the Bureau of Customs until the senator puts his name on the packages were “untrue,” said Panelo in a statement released to reporters Thursday.

“The spread of these fake information is malicious and obviously done by the negative forces and detractors of the Duterte Administration and its allies, designed to create confusion and foment hate against the government,” according to him.

“[Go] will not interfere with the task of the OCD, such interference being out of his character. Nor will Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana allow an intrusion from the outside regarding the work of the Office of the Civil Defense.

“[The] senator has his own group of friends who are giving and receiving donations, and delivering them straight to their intended beneficiaries,” he added.

On March 31, Duterte issued AO 27, directed the OCD to ensure the swift and orderly distribution of personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and equipment to hospitals, other beneficiary facilities, groups, and establishments.

The agency shall consolidate, make an inventory of, allocate and distribute donated medical supplies and products, including PPEs, received by any department, office or bureau so that the Department of Health may focus on its work given its limited personnel and access to transport vehicles, the latest directive read.

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