Sen. Richard Gordon on Thursday said the Senate probe on the government’s procurement of pandemic supplies would not halt despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s numerous threats.
Duterte made a fresh threat on Wednesday to jail senators if they cited his Cabinet members and allies for contempt.
In a statement, Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, called the president a “wild man.”
“I cannot…allow you to intimidate me or any one of us. When you threaten to harm any member of the Senate in our performance of our sworn duties, you attack and undermine the Senate as an institution mandated to check your excesses and abuses. Unlike you, we owe our loyalty to the Filipino people who trust us,” Gordon said.
“No amount of tantrums and threats will ever distract us from pursuing our investigation on who profited from the taxpayers’ money meant to provide ayuda for our people, buy our vaccines, build more hospitals, save our jobs, and bail us out of recession,” he added.
Duterte has issued a directive prohibiting his Cabinet from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Commitee’s investigation on the government’s procurement of medical supplies, which he had called a “witch hunt.”
Gordon slammed the memorandum and called its purpose unconstitutional.
The Philippine Red Cross chief has been a frequent target of Duterte’s tirades since the Senate started its probe on the government’s Covid-19 pandemic spending.
Gordon has been body shamed, called a double agent and corrupt, and cussed at by Duterte.
In his statement, Gordon asked the president: “Why are you so fixated on me?”
“Mr. Duterte, it is not a fight between us…If you are bothered with your waning popularity, you should look around and maybe, you might find the answers. Even as you go low, I will never stoop down to your level. It is when you intimidate us and show your own weakness that I am more emboldened to expose your lies and to bring back the money that rightfully belongs to the Filipino people,” he said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro