‘Hypocrite’: Duterte says Gordon also used C-130 planes for Red Cross
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Richard Gordon is a “hypocrite” for calling out the government’s decision to fetch the pandemic medical supplies from China using military aircraft when he himself had used C-130 planes for the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), according to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“It was my order [to use military planes] because I want it done quickly,” Duterte said, speaking in Filipino, in his second taped briefing of the week that aired late Wednesday night.
“I’m the president, not you. And what’s painful about this is that you keep on whining. You yourself used [a C-130]. [CURSES]. And you’re questioning them?” he went on.
Duterte was referring to officials of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Inc., from which the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) bought the medical supplies that were fetched from China using military aircraft.
Though he did not give details of Gordon’s supposed use of military aircraft, he said: “You yourself used a C-130 for your supplies. Under the guise of what? Red Cross. [CURSES]. Which is more important— the health of the Red Cross or other health of the people? I was the one who ordered that. And you — I saw it one the records — you used it too. You’re such a hypocrite. You’re a liar.”
Duterte urged Gordon to look at public records and taped addresses during which he gave the order that government assets be used for the quick delivery of pandemic supplies.
“You’re questioning why a C-130 was used to get medical supplies. I think it was [used in] Xiamen. How many trips did it take the Air Force to do that? Well, it was my order. As I said: Use any means you want. Deliver it by land, water, or air. It’s a recorded meeting. You can look at it,” Duterte said.
“You’re a liar beyond compare. Where do we go from here? We lie to each other?” he added.
The use of C-130 planes to get the supplies for Pharmally — instead of the firm itself delivering it — was brought up during the Senate blue ribbon committee investigation of alleged overpriced pandemic supplies procured by the government.
Duterte’s recent tirades against Gordon started shortly after the committee, which the latter chairs, launched the probe, which was prompted by a Commission on Audit (COA) report that showed deficiencies in the handling of P67.32 billion in COVID-19 funds of the Department of Health (DOH).
Part of that is the P42 billion funds transferred by DOH to PS-DBM. The procurement arm in turn gave contracts to Pharmally worth P8.7 billion.
In the process, various names with links to the administration surfaced, among them former PS-DBM head Lloyd Christopher Lao, who used to work for Malacañang, and Chinese businessman Michael Yang, a former presidential economic adviser.
During the probe, it was revealed that Yang extended various forms of assistance to Pharmally, like guaranteeing to Chinese suppliers that Pharmally could pay and linking the company to financiers.
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