Senator Gordon: “Dapat nagbitiw na siya [President Duterte] nang lumabas ang pangalan ng mga ito.”
On Saturday, Senator Richard Gordon said that President Rodrigo Duterte should have stepped down from the presidency ahead of “PPE exposé”.
In response to President Duterte’s latest tirades, Senator Gordon said in a radio interview that the President should have resigned before the issue on “overpriced” pandemic response supplies surfaced.
The senator, who led the Senate inquiry on the alleged overpricing of medical supplies for the pandemic response in 2020, also said that President Duterte’s offer to resign was “good” and that the President should have done so much earlier.
Amidst Senate inquiry on the alleged overpricing of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) sets that the national government procured last year, President Duterte said that he would resign if the graft allegation was proven.
“Mabuti. Dapat nagbitiw na siya nang lumabas ang pangalan ng mga ito. Dapat nagbitiw na siya nung nakita nagko-korapsyon sina Argonsino at Robles. ‘Di niya pinalo e. ‘Di niya hinahabol yung mga kaibigan niya. Ang hinahabol niya e ‘yung mga nagsasabi sa kanya ng totoo, na talagang nagsisilbi lang naman, nagmamalasakit sa tao,” Senator Gordon said.
The senator was referring to former Immigration deputy commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, who have recently been convicted by the Sandiganbayan over a PHP 50-million bribery case.
Senator Gordon also cried foul over President Duterte’s tirades against him, involving his work as the chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). According to him, it’s unfair to drag the Philippine Red Cross in the issue.
“‘Di naman tama na isasama nyo pa ang Red Cross. ‘Di naman po ako ang Red Cross. Isa lang ako, Mr. President. I am just a mere volunteer. Wala akong sweldo d’yan. ‘Wag n’yo naman kami siraan. Magalit kayo sa akin, sige po kaya ko naman,” Senator Gordon said.
Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea called Senate inquiry on allegedly overpriced procurement of pandemic response supplies a “circus” and also decried the supposed “bullying” of resource persons invited to answer questions from senators.
The Palace official encouraged senators to go over the provisions of the “Bayanihan to Heal as One” law, which required the Office of the President to provide Congress a weekly report on all procurements and activities related to the pandemic.
“I have a suggestion to those conducting the senate hearings. Just file the necessary cases and leave it to the experts tasked to investigate them while you do your jobs to legislate or conduct investigation properly in the aid of legislation. By doing so, you can preserve your energy for the coming elections,” Medialdea said.