Duterte threatens to ignore Senate hearing if Gordon won’t be ‘controlled’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to ignore the Senate’s hearing into the government’s procurement of COVID-19 response items if senators will not be able to rein in their colleague Richard Gordon who chairs the committee that is conducting the probe.
“We do not want to quarrel with you guys but rendahan ninyo ‘yan si [Senator Richard] Gordon, otherwise we would come to a head. You know what I mean? Na kung makita ko na sumusobra na, and [there is] a power that is being used in a very abusive manner, I as the head of the executive department can also just ignore,” he said in a meeting with Cabinet members aired on Thursday.
(We do not want to quarrel with you guys but you should stop Gordon, otherwise we would come to a head. You know what I mean? If I see that you are going overboard and power is being used in an abusive manner, I as the head of the executive department can also just ignore you.)
“I do not want to ignore the Senate but kung ganoon na hindi ninyo maano si Gordon (if you will not be able to rein in Gordon), eh talagang it will come to a head and there will be trouble,” he added.
Gordon chairs the Senate blue ribbon committee that is now looking into the purchase of allegedly overpriced personal protective equipment by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) on behalf of the Department of Health in 2020.
Duterte maintains that there was no overpricing in the items bought by the PS-DBM.
“There was no overpricing as some senators were so desperately trying to establish. Everything was delivered. There were no ghost deliveries as some senators were implying,” he stressed.
On Tuesday, Duterte also said he will require Cabinet members to secure his clearance first before they could attend Senate inquiries.
Before this, the President had also threatened to find “what’s wrong” with senators, starting with Gordon.
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