Hontiveros: Duterte shifting towards ‘damage control stance’ on Pharmally
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is shifting towards a “damage control stance” as he warned officials of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. to settle their unpaid taxes or face imprisonment, Senator Risa Hontiveros said Thursday.
Saying that most, if not all, of Duterte’s moves, are “political” in nature, Hontiveros said the President is “feeling the heat” as the Senate blue ribbon committee continues its probe on the alleged questionable government spending during the pandemic, including its deals with Pharmally.
“’Yun ang ginamit nyang peg to change his stance pero alam naman natin halos lahat, if hindi man lahat tungkol kay Presidente ay pulitikal talaga. Speaking of kusina, he’s feeling the heat. His cooks [and] he himself are getting their fingers singed,” Hontiveros said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
(That’s his peg to change his stance but we all know that almost everything, if not everything, about the President, is political. Speaking of the kitchen, he’s feeling the heat. His cooks [and] he himself are getting their fingers singed.)
“So I think the President is shifting towards a damage control stance towards this unprecedentedly damaging Pharmally case, damaging to his administration and maybe even to his political capital,” the senator added.
On Tuesday, Duterte, who on numerous occasions has hit the Senate panel over its investigation, warned Pharmally officials to pay their taxes or else face imprisonment for tax evasion.
Pharmally is under scrutiny at the Senate for bagging government deals worth billions of pesos, despite having only P625,000 in paid-up capital, to supply medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
INQUIRER.net has asked the Palace for its comment on this story but has yet to receive a reply as of posting time.
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