Duterte’s admission of involvement in frigate acquisition is admission to crime of plunder: Trillanes

“Duterte’s admission of his and Bong Go’s involvement in the Frigate scam is actually an admission to the crime of plunder,” former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said in statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte said in his SONA 2019 “‘yung Koreano (Hyundai Heavy Industries) na napagbili ng barko (Jose Rizal-class frigates), who sold the ship to the Philippine government, wala pa hong delivery. And it was there already ready.”

The President added that “and that is why that Korean went to Malacañan just to complain why is it that there is no request for delivery. So I told Bong, “Bong, ayusin mo ‘yan.” He went to Lorenzana and Lorenzana nagsulat siya. May nakakuha because sa Malacañan, every administration may tao ‘yan diyan. Every administration leaves some of the men because they are appointed on plantilla position. Eh kinuha nila then it was brought here, before the Congress.”

“Bong was called to testify. And he said, he was assured it will be a closed-door. I told Bong, “No, ask for an open and public hearing.” Sabi ko, “Sabihin mo sa lahat – wala – you have nothing. Just say the truth.” Sabi ko, pagkatapos niya testify, sabi ko, “Bong, maniwala ka hindi, you will be a senator”,” President Duterte added.

Trillanes said that “as confirmed by our findings during the Senate investigation, Duterte and Go’s interventions in behalf of the South Korean company helped make it profit billions of pesos more by forcing the Philippine Navy to accept several substandard equipment, such as the combat management system, that were different from the list specified in the original contract.”

“And when then Navy Flag Officer In Command, Admiral Mercado insisted that the contract be implemented faithfully, Duterte had him fired unceremoniously,” Trillanes added.

“These acts made the contract grossly disadvantageous to our government and left the Philippine Navy with an expensive platform with limited capabilities,” he said.