MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte urged the public on Thursday to elect new leaders as the 2022 elections approach.
He made the call as he criticized Senator Richard Gordon anew during the joint meeting of the National and Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Zamboanga City.
“If there is no anomaly, they will create the anomaly for you and stretch the whole of the Senate’s time for your personal appearance,” he said.
“Kagaya nitong si—itong mataba na parang penguin, kalimutan ko—Gordon. Siya ‘yun naghiram ng P86 million. Naghiram ang SBMA noon ng P146 [million], ang P86 [million] napunta sa kanya. Disallowed,” he said referring to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) which the senator formerly chaired.
(Like—the fat one who looks like a penguin, I forgot—Gordon. He borrowed P86 million. The SBMA borrowed P146 million before, P86 million went to his pocket. Disallowed.)
“When you are tagged as ‘yung disallowed… in the realm of crimes, that is malversation of government funds,” the president continued.
With that, Duterte called on Filipinos to elect new leaders despite not being “bright.”
“Now, try to elect [those] leaders. Hanggang ngayon, hindi niya binayaran (Until now, he has not paid for that),” Duterte said.
“I know we have our respective parties. May mga sinusuportahan tayo, commitment, but try to eliminate some. Maglagay kayo ng bago, maski na hindi ‘yung mga bright, ‘yung ordinaryong tao lang,” he added.
(I know we have our respective parties. We are supporting different people. There is a commitment, but try to eliminate some. Put some new leaders, even though they are not bright, even ordinary people only.)
Duterte has been hitting Gordon several times as he chairs the Senate blue ribbon committee, which conducts an investigation on Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. for alleged irregularities in billions worth of government deals to supply the country with medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In October, Duterte issued a memorandum prohibiting Cabinet executives from attending the Pharmally probe as they have to fulfill their duties to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gordon earlier claimed that Pharmally deals are a “grand conspiracy” that “could never have happened without the “imprimatur of the executive, from beginning to end.”