Gordon: 'Pork barrel funds went to Red Cross, not to my pocket'

Published September 22, 2021, 7:06 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Richard J, Gordon on Wednesday, Sept. 22 admitted that he gave his ‘’pork barrel’’ funds to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

He thus confirmed the statement of President Duterte that he gave funneled his pork barrel allocation to PRC where he is the CEO and chairman.

`Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, stressed that he did this way back in 2010 and that this was allowed.

He said the Commission on Audit (COA) had no objections and was approved by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). All were liquidated, he added.

Gordon said the pork barrel issue was only raised by President Duterte because he is investigating the multi-billion-peso mess at the Procurement Service, Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

He said those linked to the mess are the men and friends of the President.

Heading the list of questioned corporations that delivered more than P10 billion worth of personal protective equipment (PPEs), face masks and other COVID-19 pandemic medical supplies is Pharamally Pharmaceutical Corporation.

PS-DBM had awarded COVID 19-related medical supplies worth P42 billion, The amount representing the pandemic response funds of the Department of Health (DOH) was remitted to PS-DBM to buy the supplies.

Senste Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said there was ‘’premeditated plunder’’ due to ‘’’overpricing’’ at PS-DBM then headed by Lloyd Christopher Lao, a resident of Davao like the President.

Michael Yang, a former economic adviser of President Duterte and a fellow Davaoeno, denied having helped financed Pharmally, denying the claim of Linconn Ong, director of Pharmally that had only a paid up capital of P625,000.

Gordon challenged President Duterte to prove that he pocketed his pork barrel allocations. He said the President could not prove it because it is not true.

He pointed out that the President is venting his anger on the Senate which is undertaking the investigation.

The Senate recently discovered that hundreds of millions of pesos worth of medical supplies such as PPEs, face masks and test kits that were about to expire were bought by PS-DBM.

Gordon said the President should investigate Pharmally whose officials were able to buy luxury cars without paying taxes.

Despite the President’s rage, according to Gordon, the Senate committee would continue its investigation.

` The PS-DBM ‘’overpriced’’ purchases could be described as the ‘’mother of all corruption and record-breaking,’’ he added.

Gordon said the Filipino people had hoped the Duterte administration would have helped them out of their poverty.