President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday assured members of his Cabinet that they would be “extracted” within 24 hours should they get detained for contempt during Congress inquiries.

Duterte, in an address aired on Tuesday, claimed senators were creating “cris[e]s” with their allegations of corruption and grilling resource persons during hearings.

“Alam mo, ganito ‘yan e, you would create a crisis here.‘Pag ganyan ang bisyo ninyo, I will not allow any Cabinet member to go to Congress to testify. Gawain na ninyo kung gusto ninyo, kung anong gawain ninyo,” he said.

Citing Health Secretary Francisco Duque III as an example, Duterte urged his Cabinet members to refuse to answer questions during hearings even if it would lead to contempt.

“Kung bastusin ninyo the way you are treating Duque and he cannot even answer—he cannot even complete his answer without being interrupted—you stand up. Kung mapuno ka na, you just stand up because ipa-contempt ka nila, ikulong ka nila, maghanap ako ng paraan. Makukuha ko kayo. In 24 hours, Duterte said.

The president was referring to a recent Senate hearing about the health department’s misuse of pandemic funds, where Duque was interrogated for hours.

“I will extract you. Mahirap ‘yan, hindi naman tayo nag-ano, nagbabastusan na tayo eh. ‘Pag ‘yan ang gusto ninyo, e ‘di ‘yan ang masunod,” Duterte said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro