President Duterte ordered the police and military not to arrest anyone ignoring Senate’s subpoena.
On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the police and military not to arrest anyone ignoring the Senate’s subpoena in its inquiry into the government’s procurement of allegedly overpriced medical supplies for the pandemic.
In his “Talk to the People” briefing aired Thursday night, the President said that he’s ordering the military and the police to “stay out of this trouble”.
“As commander-in-chief of all uniformed personnel and government I am ordering the police and the military to stay out of this trouble. Huwag kayong sumali, huwag kayong sumunod kasi may krisis na tayo,” he added.
President Duterte also said that he issued the order because Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Senator Richard Gordon had been using his powers in a “reckless manner”, adding that he had “gone out of bounds amounting to lack of jurisdiction”.
According to the President, Senator Gorden will order the Senate sergeant-at-arms to arrest those who refused to heed his summon subpoena and so he will tell the sergeant-at-arms not to attempt to arrest anybody or “ikaw ang arestuhin ko”.
“Magorder ka ng sergeant-at-arms mo? Sino man kasama niyan? Isa lang man ‘yan, so you will order the police. So I’m ordering the police not to obey you, you may resort to using the military, ang sabihin ko sa military stay out, my order is to stay put,” President Duterte said.
The President ordered the military and the police not to follow Senator Gordon’s order because he’s treading on dangerous grounds and this hearing was “an exercise of grave abuse of discretion amounting to [an] already lack of jurisdiction”.
Earlier, President Duterte announced that he will formally bar Cabinet members and other members of the Executive Department from attending the Senate probe in order to focus on the pandemic response.