President Duterte told Senator Gordon to pay “disallowed” funds.
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte told Senator Richard Gordon to pay the government to PHP 140 million in “disallowed” funds he accrued when he’s still the chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
According to the President, the significant amount could be tapped to procure COVID-19 vaccines.
This was President Duterte’s latest tirade against the senator, who has headed the Senate probe into the government’s alleged anomalous dealings with Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation at the time of the pandemic.
In his Talk to the People address aired late Monday night, President Duterte asked the Commission on Audit (COA) to collect the money from Senator Gordon. The President alleged that the senator pocketed PHP 86 million out of the PHP 140 million that had been issued a “notice of disallowance” the state auditors.
“Bayaran mo, marami ka namang pera diyan. Personal mo ‘yan eh. Iyang disallowance, personal mo ‘yan. Ibig sabihin ‘yung 86 million napunta sa kamay mo, hindi mo ‘yan ginastos nang husto sa gobyerno. Ginamit mo ang pera o ninakaw mo, isauli mo ‘yan, personal, hindi ‘yung property ng SBMA,” President Duterte said, addressing Senator Gordon.
According to the President, the notice of disallowance from the Commission on Audit had been “fully sustained by the Supreme Court as final and executory”.
President Duterte also said that the government can use that money to procure more COVID-19 vaccines. That, he added, was his purpose why he wanted the senator to pay up.
The President then said that he wanted the Filipinos to keep in mind that the money “went to the hands of Gordon”. A lawyer himself, President Duterte said that a “disallowance” became one’s personal liability if it hasn’t been returned within a period demanded.
Moreover, President Duterte said that Senator Gordon returning the money will be a huge boost to the country’s pandemic response program as it can be used to help vaccinate all 110 million Filipinos.
Manila Bulletin reported that around 21 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease so far.