Go on ethics inquiry into overpriced PPEs: 'I will respect Senate's decision'

Published September 1, 2021, 5:32 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go on Wednesday, September 1 said he would respect the decision of his fellow senators should there be a complaint lodged against him with the Senate ethics committee.

‘’I respect this institution that I belong to and I hope that fairness and due process will always be upheld in these halls,’’ Go, chairman of the Senate Health committee, said.

Go was reacting to reports that some of his peers in the 24-member Senate are set to file with the Ethics committee a complaint against him for alleged links to controversial Lloyd Christopher Lao, former head of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and former DBM Undersecretary.

Senators had complained that there was an organized plunder at the PS-DBM in the awarding of many of the COVID-19 medical supplies worth P42 billion representing the COVID-19 response fund of the Department of Health (DOH). There was overpricing in the supply contracts, they added.

Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, had noted that the DOH did not monitor how the P42 billion was spent.

‘’Kaya kung may magfile man ng reklamo laban sa akin sa committee on ethics, rerespetuhin ko naman ang desisyon ng mga kapwa kong senador (If there would be a complaint filed against me, I will respect the decision of my peers),’’ he pointed out.

‘’Kung gusto nila akong imbestigahan, imbestigahan po nila. Wala naman akong itinatago (If they want to investigate me, investigate me. I have nothing to hide). Wala rin akong kinatatakutan dahil alam kong wala akong ginawang mali, lalo na pagdating sa disorderly o unethical behavior na sakop ng komiteng iyan (I have nothing to fear because I know I did nothing bad, particularly disorderly or unethical behavior that is under the jurisdiction of this committee),’’ he added.

Go said he said yesterday that he would resign if they find him guilty of corruption, even if it involves a paltry sum of P1.

‘’At kung napatunayan nilang may ginawa akong mali, tatanggapin ko kung anuman ang nasa batas o Senate rules (If he were found to have committed something bad under the laws or Senate rules, i would accept it),’’ he stressed.

Go said he would not give any comment since there is still no complaint lodged against him.

‘’Pero gaya ng sinasabi ko noon pa, kung may alegasyon kayo, kasuhan ninyo gamit ang tamang proseso (If there are allegations against me, use the right processes). At kung mapapatunayan na may maling nagawa, parusahan (Punish me if you find I committed something bad),’’ he said.

‘’Walang pili po dapat ang hustisya (Justice has no favorites). Pero hindi naman pwedeng haka-haka at patutsada lang (Rumors are a No, No). Ako ay nagtatrabaho ng matino (I work according to rules). At ang tanging puhunan ko lang dito ay prinsipyo at pagseserbisyo sa kapwa ko Pilipino (My assets are my principles and service to my fellowman). Hinding-hindi ko ito sisirain (I will not destroy it),’’ he said.

Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao, chairman of the Senate ethics committee, said his committee would certainly act if there is a complaint filed against Go arising from the PS-DBM mess.

Pacquiao expressed hopes that Go should not feel offended should he act on a complaint because he (Pacquiao) would only be doing his duty which is to clear the issue or issues.

This includes clearing the air on allegations that Lao was a former aide of Go.

Go continues to deny any links with Lao and stressed that he does not mind who should be jailed for what Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon described as the crime of plunder.

In a related development, Pacquiao said President Duterte need not be defensive on persons linked to the overpricing of the COVID-19 medical supplies.

Pacquiao said the Senate was not fighting President Duterte since the Upper Chamber is only doing its job.