Cabinet members need my approval to attend Senate probes — Duterte

September 14, 2021 People's Journal 188 views

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Cabinet officials to seek his permission before attending Senate investigations as he continued to criticize the probes.

“May option kayo to cite the person in contempt. Ako na magsabi. Ako ang may utos na hindi mag-attend,” he said in a taped address that aired on Tuesday.

He added: “I think I can do it as president. I will limit what you can do with the executive department.”

He criticized the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and its chairman Senator Richard Gordon for holding several hearings into the government’s alleged anomalous purchase of pandemic resources.

Duterte said the lawmakers are “stretching” the investigation to benefit from the 2022 elections. He also said he will campaign against Gordon for being an “unfit” senator.

He said he was not interested in the fate of Pharmally Pharmaceuticals — a small supplier being scrutinized by lawmakers after it bagged billions of pesos in government contracts — since it was already able to deliver the government’s requirements.

“You can crumple Pharmally. Wala kaming pakialam diyan. Ang pakialam namin nag-order kami, dumating, ang presyo negotiated,” the President said.

Senators have questioned how Pharmally Pharmaceutical won several government contracts worth over P8 billion, including those awarded for the supply of what lawmakers said were “overpriced” face masks and face shields, even though the company only had a paid-up capital of P625,000. CNN Philippines Staff