Bong Go denies labeling medical donations with his name

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 2) — Senator Bong Go has denied allegations his office labeled boxes of COVID-19 medical donations with his name.

There are unverified posts on social media where boxes of surgical masks and personal protective equipment were sent to hospitals bearing the lawmaker's name. There were also photos where boxes were labeled, "From Malacañang (Sen. Bong Go)."

He claimed these malicious social media posts were created to discredit him.

"Let me state this in very clear and unmistakable language: claims circulating that I am involved in handling donations intended for the government are UTTERLY FALSE, DELIBERATE DISINFORMATION, AND BLACK PROPAGANDA," Go wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte's former aide added, "In this time of crisis, if you cannot help, just quarantine your mouth!"

Go reiterated he is not involved in the operations of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD). This comes after Duterte signed an order mandating that all health-related donations be coursed through the office.

"Nais ko po klaruhin na wala po akong kinalaman sa operasyon at mandato ng OCD. Wala rin pong kinalaman ang opisina ko sa distribution ng government resources," he said.

[Translation: I am not involved in the OCD. My office is not helping with the distribution of government resources.]

Reports also circulated the OCD is conducting raids to gather all remaining stocks of PPE and other medical supplies for COVID-19 response. This was denied by National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council-OCD (NDRRMC-OCD) spokesman Mark Timbal on Thursday.

"May kumalat po na fake news that some hospitals were raided by government to confiscate their supplies and equipment para ipamigay sa ibang hospitals. OCD has been gathering resources through procurement and donations. What we have pooled are distributed," he said in a message to reporters.

Meanwhile, LT Group, inc., one of the private donors, said it asked the help Go in identifying the beneficiaries.

“Due to numerous requests for assistance we have received, we have asked the guidance from the Office of Senator Bong Go … in identifying beneficiaries which in this instance, are the medical front-liners in Cavite,” said the company in a statement.

It added, “It is unfortunate that some quarters are misconstruing Sen. Go’s advice due to labels on the packaging which the Senator has no knowledge of.”