Gordon’s flip-flop confuses Duterte: Before they want Acierto charged, now they use his testimony?
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte admitted being confused about Senator Richard Gordon’s recent moves, as the latter used testimonies and documents provided by a former cop whom Gordon himself wanted arrested before.
Duterte was talking about former police Col. Eduardo Acierto, who was the subject of a blue ribbon committee investigation in 2019 about the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reports on magnetic lifters containing shabu worth P11 billion.
Fast forward to 2021, Gordon — still the head of the poweful blue ribbon committee — is asking people dragged into the probe about Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. based on the documents and accusations made by Acierto.
“Tignan mo itong utak ni Gordon, pati ‘yong Senado mismo. ‘Yong tao they recommended indictment of these persons, itong si (former PDEA deputy director general Ismael) Fajardo pati si Acierto. And yet now, because it’s convenient for them […] tinawag nilang ano to give credence to the theory now that started with the procurement,” Duterte said in his pre-recorded briefing aired Tuesday morning.
(Look at Gordon and the whole Senate’s mindset. They recommended the indictment of these persons, Fajardo and Acierto. And yet now, because it’s convenient for them […] they use their documents to give credence to the theory now that started with the procurement.)
“They ramble on to so many things calling persons na kriminal, alam nila, sila pa nag-recommend ng prosecution, ginagamit nila ngayon. Hindi ko maintindihan itong mga senador na ‘to, but anyway there will be a time for reckoning,” he added.
(They ramble on to so many things calling persons that are criminal, they know that, they even recommended prosecuting them. But now they are using these people. I cannot understand these senators but anyway there will be a time for reckoning.)
According to Duterte, Gordon has “forever lost his credibility” by using documents and alleged evidence provided by supposed criminal officers.
“There’s only one thing I can say. Ito si Acierto pati si Fajardo, wala talagang credibility (they really have no credibility). Now Gordon now is in a bind, paano siya lalabas nito (how can he go out) because I will say it publicly, Gordon has forever lost his credibility, in cahoots with criminals and fabricated stories,” the President noted.
In 2019, Gordon clarified that Acierto has no evidence that President Duterte could be linked to the drug trade, after Acierto claimed that people close to the Chief Executive — Chinese business people Michael Yang and Allan Lim — are part of the illegal drug industry.
The Senator also urged Acierto to present new evidence if he wants the issue probed again.
Acierto’s name popped up during the committee hearings about Pharmally, after senators asked whether the person seen with Pharmally officials, Yang, and President Duterte is the same Allan Lim implicated by the former police officer as someone involved in the drug trade.
Yang, Duterte’s former economic adviser, was dragged into the Pharmally issue when the firm officials admitted that they sought help from Yang to guarantee to Chinese medical suppliers that they can pay their dues.
Eventually, it was also revealed by Pharmally president Huang Tzu Yen that they borrowed money from Yang.
Duterte’s statements about Gordon came after incumbent PDEA General Wilkins Villanueva gave a thorough report, in an attempt to debunk Acierto’s claims that drug suspect Wen Li Chen and Allan Lim or Lin Wei Xiong are the same person.
In the end, Duterte appealed for fairness in the treatment of the Senate’s resource persons. Earlier, the President had already required cabinet members to seek clearance from him before even attending the Senate probe which takes hours.
“But you know I would just like to, I plead for fairness sa mga tao na tinatawag ninyo. Kasi ‘pag ka ganoon ang style ninyo, eh lahat ng tiga-gobyerno sabihin ko ‘wag na kayong magpunta d’yan sa Senate, it would be a ruckus thing, ipa-aresto ninyo,” Duterte said.
(But you know I would just like to, I plead for fairness for the people you are calling. Because if your style remains the same, I would not tell everyone in government not to attend the Senate hearings, it would be a ruckus thing, because you will have them arrested.)
Pharmally is the subject of an inquiry after it was revealed that at least P8.7 billion of the Department of Health’s fund transfers to the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM) were used for contracts with the trading company.
Aside from allegedly overpricing the supplies, Pharmally is being investigated by Gordon’s committee recently for its financial origins as it questioned how it was able to bag billions of contracts with just a capital of P625,000.
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