Senate Blue Ribbon panel hearings 'reek of malice', Duterte claims

Published August 31, 2021, 6:43 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The Senator Richard Gordon-led Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings “reek of malice” as far as President Duterte is concerned.

President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang photo)

During the Tuesday, Aug. 31 airing of the latest “Talk to the People” public briefing, Duterte didn’t hold back at all in expressing his disdain toward Gordon, especially the way he conducts his business over at the Senate’s anti-graft panel.

“The Blue Ribbon Committee hearing and Senator Gordon. The problem in this inquiry is it reeks with malice. You have already passed judgment on the people you have called, appeared before the committee hearing,” Duterte said.

“You ask questions and you also answer. You would not even let the person answer kasi ikaw talkative (because you’re talkative). Nobody but nobody has given a complete answer diyan sa inyo (over there). Napuputol eh (They get cut off). Statements which would have been exonerate them at the early stage, napuputol ninyo sa — parang kayo na ang Diyos diyan (you cut them off–you act like Gods there),” he added.

One government official who supposedly received this unsavory treatment was Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.

This has been a sore point for Duterte since he believes that the health chief is “clean”. He earlier said that he would stand by Duque no matter what.

“Kagaya ginawa nila nito ni Duque. Unspent palang karaming ano — nandiyan ‘yung pera. Ngayon, kailan niya ginastos? Why is it…(Like what you did with Duque. The funds are unspent and yet so many–the money is there. Now when was it spent?)…Do not run the department for Duque.

“Hayaan mo siya. Bantayan lang ninyo ang resulta kung tama ba. (Leave him alone. Wait for the results and check the results if they’re correct)…Kasi alam ninyo, sa totoo lang, kung hindi kayo mag-imbestiga, wala kayong trabaho (Because you know, the truth is, if you don’t investigate, you won’t have anything to do),” Duterte said.

The Commission on Audit (COA) had earlier flagged the health agency’s spending activity based on its 2020 audit report.