MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday took another jab against Sen. Richard Gordon, threatening to call on the Ombudsman if Sen. Richard Gordon will not return the P86 million he allegedly pocketed when he was still chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
This came during Duterte’s new tirade against the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in a taped briefing.
“Lahat naman talaga dapat magbayad ng buwis at kung kailangan magbayad, singilan para magbayad ‘yung mga may atraso sa gobyerno,” said Duterte.
(Everyone really has to pay taxes and charge those who have arrears to the government.)
“Kagaya ni (like) Sen. Gordon, you have not even taken steps to deliver the 86 million and so I think we will have to see if we can call on the Ombudsman to step in because matagal na itong utang na ito (this debt has been here for too long),” he added.
Duterte then claimed that the Supreme Court ruling that ordered Gordon to return the funds is “final and executory.”
“So kung bakit kung senador ang may tama, walang nagagawa at ilang taon na ‘to?” asked Duterte.
(So why when it's a senator at fault, nothing has been done even if it's been a few years?)
“So itong mga senador, siguro (so these senators, maybe) they are exempted from the operation of the law, because until now this 86 million, which was incurred during the term of Gordon sa Subic,” he added.
Duterte first brought up this issue during his Sept. 23 public briefing, where he said that the COA issued a notice of disallowance based on its audit of SBMA totaling P140 million. Of this figure, Duterte claimed that P86 million went to Gordon.
Duterte then threatened to file a malversation case against Gordon.
The Senate blue ribbon committee led by Gordon is currently investigating the alleged anomalies in supply contracts of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. with the government as well the alleged misuse of pandemic response funds./MUF