President Rodrigo Duterte wants to suspend the Senate investigation that focuses on the government’s alleged anomalous purchase of medical supplies during the pandemic.
“Were the purchases of masks overpriced? Iyon ang tanong. Ang sagot is, no, they are not,” said Duterte.
Even though their prices are high due to high demand, they are still cheaper than what the previous administration bought.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, on the other hand, stressed that under the Bayanihan 1 law, the purchase of medical supplies might no longer be subject to public bidding because it can be considered emergency procurement.
“Do not, kayong mga lahat sa Senate. Do not investigate programs which are ongoing. You will derail it, you will delay it by your incessant penchant for investigating government offices,” said Duterte.
The President also accused the Senate of seeming to pay attention to show off.
“Hindi naman kayo lahat diyan malinis, but you are the one making a noise, a noise that is just a noise for no purpose at all but to create a noise,” said Duterte.
He also slammed Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee overseeing the investigation.
Duterte wants to stop investigation into ‘overpriced’ PPEs
He said Gordon’s motive is questionable even though he has plans to run for a higher position in 2022.
“Gordon, are you really investigation (sic) in aid of legislation or in aid of your personal political interest? I heard that you want to run for vice president next year, and you are trying to impress the opposition that they would consider you,” he said.
He also accused Gordon of milking the Philippine Red Cross, a non-government humanitarian organization it heads.
“Alam mo ginagamit mo itong Red Cross and I dare say, na ginamit mo talaga ito para sa elections. Ito iyong milking cow mo eh,” said Duterte.
Duterte added that the Commission on Audit (COA) should take a look at the Red Cross. However, the COA cannot prosecute the Red Cross because it is not a government agency.