Duterte warns of 'crisis' if Senate would be 'rude' to Cabinet during hearing | Inquirer News
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Vows to rescue officials who will be cited in contempt

Duterte warns of ‘crisis’ if Senate would be ‘rude’ to Cabinet during hearing

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 01:15 PM August 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday warned of a constitutional crisis after he threatened to bar Cabinet members from attending congressional inquiries if lawmakers would “rudely” question them.

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In his taped interview, Duterte further vowed to “get them out” if Cabinet officials were to be cited for contempt by lawmakers.

“You would create a crisis here. Pag ganyang ang bisyo ninyo, I will not allow any Cabinet member to go to Congress to testify. Gawain na ninyo ang gusto niyo, kung ano ang gawain ninyo,” Duterte said.

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“Kung ganoon ang treatment ninyo, sinabi ko na noon, that’s why I told the military also, ’pag kayo binabastos nang ganoong klaseng questioning, tumindig kayo,” he added.

Duterte issued the warning as government agencies like the Department of Health (DOH) faced a probe before Congress over the use of its funds.

“Kung magsabi, ‘You are in contempt,’ sabihin mo, ‘Sige, Sir, i-contempt mo ako, bahala ka.’ At mag-isip ako kung paano kita kunin,” he said.

“Same here, kung bastusin ninyo the way you’re treating Duque, he cannot even complete his answer without being interrupted. You stand up if mapuno ka na, you just stand up. Because if i-contempt ka nila, ikulong ka nila, maghahanap ako ng paraan. Makukuha ko kayo. In 24 hours, I will extract you,” he went on.

Duterte spent most of his weekly “Talk to the People” tackling the Senate investigation on the DOH’s handling of COVID-19 funds, even singling out Senators Richard Gordon and Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.

Due to the COVID-19, Duterte asked lawmakers to “consider” the agencies’ skeleton workforce in its inquiries.

“Now, I would like to suggest a way of action. For the senators, whatever they intend to do or whatever they plan to do, or whatever they want to investigate, kindly consider the reduced manpower of the departments,” Duterte said.

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“Wag ninyong apurahin kasi hindi ninyo maapura yan. Mabuti sana kung tumutulong kayo dyan. So you answer me and then I will answer you again in a few days. Sagutin ko kaagad kayo.”

In January this year, the President also issued a similar warning to Congress over the supposed self-inoculation of members of the Presidential Security Group.

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TAGS: Congress, President Rodrigo Duterte, Senate investigation, senators
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