Duterte says Gordon using Red Cross to fund election bid
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte accused Senator Richard Gordon of using the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) as his “milking cow” to fund his political palns, even suggesting that maybe it is time for the lawmaker to let go of his position in the humanitarian organization.
Duterte again spent some time in his “Talk to the People” to slam Gordon, who has been leading inquiries on the government’s pandemic spending before the Senate, now focusing on the lawmakers’ role as senator and PRC chairman.
“Is the Red Cross saving money so it would eventually pass a resolution to set aside a big amount to fund your election funds just like the funds you used in the 2010 campaign? Alam mo, ginagamit mo itong Red Cross and I dare say na ginamit mo talaga ito para sa elections. (You’re using the Red Cross and I dare say you’re using it for the elections.),” Duterte said in a taped speech aired Thursday.
“Ito yung milking cow mo e sa totoo lang. You’ve been there for quite a time. Is it not fair to say now na bumitaw ka na and give others a chance para mahinto na yung ginagawa mong kalokohan?” he added.
(This is your milking cow, to be honest. You’ve been there for quite a time. Is it not fair to say now that you relinquish your post and give others a chance to stop your nonsense?)
Duterte brought up how Gordon threatened to stop conducting COVID-19 tests for the government after the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) failed to settle millions it owed for previous tests.
The PRC resumed its testing after PhilHealth settled half of its debt.
“Ito pang isa ang ayaw ko sa iyo, at the time when were busy testing everybody at humingi kami ng tulong sa inyo, Red Cross, Red Cross is supposed to be a humanitarian organization but when government was struggling to source funds, you threatened to stop testing,” Duterte said.
(This is another thing I don’t like about you. At the time we were busy testing everybody, we asked the Red Cross for help. The Red Cross is supposed to be a humanitarian organization but when the government was struggling to source funds, you threatened to stop testing.)
The President went on to claim that the PRC was charging COVID-19 tests “at astronomical rate of around P4,700” and was not giving senior citizens along with persons with disabilities.
“Is this not a clear violation of the expanded Senior Citizens Act? Pakisagot lang nito. It is a violation of law to deprive senior citizens and persons with disabilities of lower prices in consideration of their present situation,” said Duterte.
He also chided Gordon for the PRC’s supposed plan to sell Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. But the PRC has since clarified it may offer the jabs to members and donors “willing to bear the cost of the vaccines.”