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Rappler came out with an explosive retaliation – it dropped a bomb on Malacañang, exposing the possible corruption within the 15.5 billion pesos frigate purchase program. I will explain it in a very simple manner so everyone will understand this issue clearly, but for details, please click the original source of info for this blog (note: when I checked the link later after posting this, it was updated (and edited) but I will stick with the original script)


(Disclaimer: views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the truth. -Lulu Mendez)

Explosive Update (Feb. 1), An Explosive Revelation From Congressman Gary Alejano:


The South Korean firm, Hyundai Heavy Industries, involved in part of the Philippine Navy frigate deal – the C.M.S. deal – has been banned by South Korean government for bribery! It is now more clear that bribery was obviously involved in this anomalous deal involving Malacañang. How else can you explain the undue pressure the Palace exerted on the Navy to choose, against its will, Hyundai as the supplier. Now the question is: How much? (This news is most likely creating a panic in the Palace. I wonder if all the controversies now, like the Dengvaxia scare, are just part of the plan of the Palace to distract public attention from this explosive corruption issue.)



Here is the outline of the event for your easy understanding:

  • During the Aquino administration, the government embarked on military modernization program which included the the Navy’s frigate purchasing project costing 15.5 billion pesos. This was finalized and signed by the Duterte administration, meaning, they are the ones responsible for its implementation.
  • Included in the project is the critical Combat Management System (CMS) to be installed on the warships – this is the source of the controversy.
  • The Frigate Project Technical Working Group under chairman Commodore Robert Empedrad – the officially authorized group for the selection of suppliers – selected CMS system from Tacticos Thales of The Netherlands as “most suitable” for the warships.
  • But the “Little President” Bong Go, the right hand man of President Duterte, intervenes and pushes for an alternative CMS supplier, Hanwha Thales, a South Korean company, to provide the CMS and presents Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana with a so-called white paper endorsing Hanwha Thales.


  • Lorenzana, in turn, gave the white paper to former Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado. He wrote on an attached Post-it note:1/12/17To: Admiral MercadoRonald,This was given to me by Bong Go.Go over it and prepare a report/rebuttalto be submitted to the Pres.(Signature)
    Quoted Directly from the Rappler report.

    Edited photo from Silent No More PH

  • But the “former” Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado stood by another CMS supplier that technical working groups from the Navy selected as most suitable for the warships.” – Rappler
    (This cost him his post, Mercado was later fired!)

    Photo from a post of Bong Banal
  • A week after Go gave Lorenzana the white paper, his office sent a letter to Empedrad inviting him to Malacañang on January 20, 2017, to discuss the CMS selection. The letter was signed by Undersecretary Christopher Lao of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, but Go later denied any knowledge of the letter or the meeting.


  • “But Empedrad sent a report to Malacañang 3 days later, dated January 23, 2017, addressed to the President and Go. He upheld that Tacticos Thales was the better supplier of CMS and debunked most of the arguments that favored Hanwha Thales. Go told Rappler he also didn’t know about this report.” Rappler
  • After Mercado was fired, Emperdrad “was installed Navy officer-in-charge in a hastily organized change of command ceremony on December 19, 2017.” Why? we will find out provided this corrupt scheme of Malacañang is not abandoned under public pressure.


This is a clear case of influence peddling coming directly from Malacañang. Everybody knows that “Little President” Bong Go is Duterte’s right-hand man. He is Duterte’s shadow and everything he does, the President knows. The President’s involvement is obvious, what more proof do you need when the facts clearly show:

  • that it was done by Duterte’s right hand man, Bong Go;
  • the alleged meeting between Go and Emperdrad was scheduled at Malacañang; and
  • that the officer who refused, Mercado, was later fired. This is no doubt a clear case of corruption involving 15.5 billion pesos, reaching the doorsteps of Malacañang. Again, we should never forget!

“This is no doubt a clear case of corruption involving part of the 15.5 billion pesos deal, reaching the doorsteps of Malacañang. Again, we should never forget!”


And please don’t believe the fake news spread by the allies of Malacañang claiming that former Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado was fired because he endorsed his own favored supplier – it is the other way around. What Mercado endorsed was the supplier officially endorsed by the Navy itself.


Update: The Role of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on this Issue

I enthusiastically admired Defense Secretary Lorenzana and A.F.P Chief of Staff Leonardo Guerrero when they publicly repudiated Duterte’s revolutionary government, an act which probably helped in thwarting it (I was wildly cheering for them in my heart at that time). But when Lorenzana’s name cropped up on this possible corruption issue, I was very disappointed, to say the least, that is, until Maria Ressa of Rappler revealed publicly at the Senate Hearing on Fake News that it was no less than Secretary Lorenzana who “leaked” the so-called white paper, or simply stated, it was the Secretary himself who exposed this anomaly in the C.M.S. deal!

“…Maria Ressa of Rappler revealed publicly at the Senate Hearing on Fake News that it was no less than Secretary Lorenzana who “leaked” the so-called white paper, or simply stated, it was the Secretary himself who exposed this anomaly in the C.M.S. deal!”

With a deep sigh of relief, my confidence in Lorenzana was restored. This is the man to watch in the administration. So Secretary Lorenzana, please do not let us down and in return, we will fully support you. Let us support and, if need be, protect, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, for he must be a marked man for the Palace hitman!


Don’t Forget to Support Rappler! #StandWithRappler



…please also read another view from a former Navy officer…



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