Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go described as “malicious” a report that he invited officials of Cagayan for a tour of Malacañang just before typhoon “Ompong” (Mangkhut) made landfall in the province.
Online news website Rappler published an article titled “On eve of Ompong landfall, Bong Go invites Cagayan officials to Palace tour” claiming that Cagayan officials “enjoyed their Malacañang trip as their province was placed under Storm Signal No. 4 due to Ompong.”
In a statement, Go explained that he invited the Cagayan officials two weeks ago and had already advised them about postponing their activity. However, the officials still showed up.
“Two weeks ago pa ‘yan nakipag (they scheduled an) appointment sa’min ni (with us and) ES (Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea) pero (but) three days ago we advised them not to proceed para attend nila lugar nila (their province),” Go said in a statement.
“Alam ni Vice Gov. Vargas pero tumuloy pa din sila with ES (Cagayan Vice Gov. Vargas knew this but they still pushed through),” he added.
Go, meanwhile, questioned how Rappler was able to write the story when reporter Pia Ranada has been barred from covering Malacañang.
Last February, President Rodrigo R. Duterte invoked executive action by issuing directive to ban Ranada from covering Malacañang events.
Duterte said Rappler’s reporters would be allowed to cover again his events if the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would declare it 100 percent Filipino-owned online news outfit.
Tuguegarao Councilor Maila Ting-Que, meanwhile, said the Rappler report made it appear that they were only invited for a “tour of the Palace” when they were also invited to discuss matters concerning the province.
“We were invited, as far as I know, to have a meeting about our province’s problems and at the same time asked for help. Those who were already in Manila,” Ting-Que said in a Viber message.
“Every chief executive left as soon as the 30-minute meeting with Secretary Medialdea was done and traveled to Cagayan,” she added. (PNA)