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Duterte: I’m running for senator to change conduct of Senate inquiries

/ 07:40 PM November 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte, a senatorial aspirant in the 2022 elections, on Thursday said that he is seeking a seat in the upper chamber of Congress to change how senators conduct an inquiry.

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Duterte said this as he made another tirade against senators who are conducting an investigation into the alleged corruption of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., a firm that bagged P8.6-billion worth of government deals to provide medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the inauguration of integrated seaport development projects in Mindoro Provinces, the president lamented anew on the Senate’s probe, saying the long summons prevent government officials from doing their duties.

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“Kung magsalita ito sila Gordon, parang—sila Drilon—para silang bright na pinuputol. Hindi talaga nakakasagot. Walang sagot, so walang totoong lalabas,” Duterte said, referring to Senators Franklin Drilon and Richard Gordon, the latter sitting as the Senate blue ribbon committee chair which investigates Pharmally.

(The way Gordon and Drilon speak, it seems that they’re bright. The guests cannot answer. There is no answer, so no truth would come out.)

“If that is the way how you conduct your inquiry or investigation, and your behavior is you want to talk—ayaw magpatalo ‘yan si Gordon. You want to monopolize the time with your, maybe your smartness. Marunong ka and you’re articulate. Okay lang ‘yan. Pero ‘yung bastusin mo?,” he said.

(If that is the way you conduct your inquiry or investigation, and your behavior is you want to talk—Gordon does not want to lose. You want to monopolize the time with your, maybe your smartness. You are good and you’re articulate. That’s good, but to degrade them?)

Duterte said that the way the Senate performs inquiries is the reason why he will run for Senate.

“When you do that, you issue several summons and you can only dispose one subject matter for one witness, hindi maganda (that is not good). Kaya ako tatakbo (That’s why I will run). Kaya ‘pag ako mag-ano, sasabihan ko sila na (When I’m there, I’ll tell them that) there are rules in the Congress. But, there are fundamental laws,” the chief executive said.

Earlier, Duterte issued a memorandum, prohibiting Cabinet executives from attending the Pharmally probe.

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During one of the Senate panel’s hearings, Gordon showed a video of Duterte meeting with Pharmally officials in Davao City in 2017.

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TAGS: Franklin Drilon, Pharmally, Richard Gordon, Rodrigo Duterte, Senate
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