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Trillanes shows alleged link of Go to frigates deal

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Senator Antonio Trillanes showed today in a Senate inquiry a powerpoint presentation allegedly showing the link of Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go to the frigates deal for the Philippine Navy (PN).

The senator said, while Go denied any connection to the P 15.5-billion deal, Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao, who worked in Go's office in the palace, had summoned then Commodore Robert Empredad to a meeting in Malacañang on January 20, 2017.

Then on January 23, 2017, Empredad had supposedly expressed preference for a Korean firm, Hanwha Thales, to be the supplier of the Combat Management System (CMS) for the 2 frigates.

The presentation during the investigation of the Senate Committee on National Defense also showed how the Philippine Navy (PN) showed its resistance to the Korean firm as its CMS did not comply with the technical specifications of a CMS that would fit in the 2 warships.

Empredad confirmed that there was indeed a meeting and that it was attended by several PN personnel.

But Go said the meeting did not result in any change in the transaction for the frigates contract.

Trillanes had also noted that from the time Go handed to Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana a "white paper" allegedly recommending the South Korean supplier, the defense department seemed to have trashed the PN's stand that backed CMS supplier Tacticos Thales of the Netherlands.

The "white paper" was reportedly received by Lorenzana from Go in the palace in January 2017.

DND and Navy's alleged disagreement over the CMS supplier is said to have cost then PN Chief Ronald Mercado his job.

He was sacked in December 2017.




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