Duterte says Gordon owes gov't P86M in 'disallowed' funds; says it's possibly malversation

Published September 23, 2021, 12:29 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

President Duterte said he would “personally see to it” that Senator Richard Gordon gets slapped with a criminal charge, possibly malversation, for allegedly failing to return some P86 million worth of public funds.

President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Senator Richard Gordon (Photos from Malacañang, MANILA BULLETIN)

Duterte, in his pre-recorded “Talk to the People” public briefing late Wednesday night, Sept. 22, claimed that the amount was part of the P140 million that had been flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) during Gordon’s time as Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman.

Duterte said COA had issued SBMA a notice of disallowance, which he distinguished from a mere observation by COA. According to him, the notice of disallowance is a sort of “final imprimatur” that COA has finished its audit.

“Kung sabi ng COA disallowed yung pera nakuha mo, ibabalik mo! Noon pa, sa Subic ka pa…P86-plus million ang iyo doon nakuha sa P140 million na iyong nakuha personally at may judgement na yun ang kailangan ibalik mo sa gobyerno ang pera (If COA said that the money you took was disallowed, you should return it! This is back when you were in Subic…You personally took P86-plus million from the P140 million and there’s already a final judgment that you should return the money to the government),” he said, addressing Gordon directly.

“Kindly settle or not, I will personally see to it that a case is filed against you,” added Dutere, who is a lawyer.

“So I would like to inquire from the Ombudsman if there is a case filed against you because lahat na na-disallow (of the disallowed fund) and the money was not returned. The money was not used in the right way. It — it reduces into something like a personal liability mo. So bakit hindi mo pa nabayaran ito? (So why haven’t you paid this?)” he said.

The Chief Executive said Gordon’s supposed crime in connection with the unreturned money is malversation. “The crime is malversation. Ibig sabihin ginastos mo, binulsa mo yung pera (That means you spent it, you pocketed the money).”

Again referring to Gordon, Duterte said, “Yung utang mo bayaran mo na yan, ang tagal na pala yan (Pay back that debt of yours, it’s been quite some time).”

Aside from the being rapped with malversation, Duterte reckoned that the senator “should be facing the Sandiganbayan, the government’s anti-graft court. This court hears crimanal and other cases filed against public officials by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Click here to find out how the beef between Duterte and Gordon began.