President Duterte ordered the Office of the Solicitor General to tell COA to collect PHP 140 million from Senator Gordon.
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Office of the Solicitor General to tell the Commission on Audit (COA) to collect PHP 140 million in government funds from Senator Richard Gordon, stemming from the senator’s time as Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman.
In his “Talk to the People” address aired Monday night, the President again criticized the senator amidst the latter’s Senate committee probe into government contracts for allegedly overpriced pandemic supplies.
President Duterte said that the Commission on Audit had issued a notice of disallowance for PHP 140 million in funds to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority from the time when Senator Gordon served as its chairman from 1992 to 1998.
The President earlier accused the senator of “personally” taking PHP 86 million from PHP 140 million.
On Monday, President Duterte claimed Senator Gordon’s supposed failure to act on the disallowance was already a case of malversation.
“Ngayon, hindi mo pa na bayaran. Ang dapat diyan ang case sa COA. Kapag ‘di mo nabayaran within the period demanded of you then it becomes your personal liability and the case goes to Ombudsman. Ang tawag diyan malversation,” President Duterte said.
The President also asked the senator for updates from this case, which he said had been ongoing since 2016.
Meanwhile, the President criticized senators after the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee detained a Pharmally director Linconn Ong for supposedly being evasive in his answers.
President Duterte said that senators shouldn’t assume resource persons were lying if they didn’t like the answers they received. The President also indicated that what the Senate did was worse than martial law.
At one point in his address, the President asked senators if the controversial Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation (HCC) was the contractor of the PHP 8.9 billion new Senate building in Taguig City.