MANILA, Philippines — “He does not control anybody. He does not control me,” President Rodrigo Duterte said of presidential aspirant Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go in his taped weekly address that aired late Monday night.
The president said he needed Go as the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.
“He is here to do his duty so that I have somebody to ask [questions about health],” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino. “He handles health. So it’s good that he’s here.”
Duterte was reacting to the statement of retired Army officer Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, another presidential aspirant, that Go “controls the decision of Duterte,” adding that the senator was part of the country’s problems.
Parlade said he has no rift with Go, but he “does not like the way he does things, including controlling the decisions of the president.”
He declined to explain his statements, saying the people in government, including the military, could expound on his statement.
Parlade also said it was the president’s “prerogative” to say that he felt he was not being controlled by anyone, as he had already said previously.
Go denied Parlade’s claims, saying he only helped in implementing the president’s decisions, having been his long-time aide.
These decisions include the push to increase the salaries of military and police officers, Go said.
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