Opposition Senator Leila De Lima on Monday, Oct. 4 chided President Duterte for ordering members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ignore the Senate’s subpoenas in its inquiry into the government’s procurement of overpriced COVID-19 pandemic supplies.
De Lima said Duterte has apparently been acting as an “attorney-outlaw” of Chinese businessman Michael Yang and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.
“The order of Duterte to the PNP and the AFP to defy the Senate arrest orders is illegal and unconstitutional,” De Lima said in a statement.
“Duterte has fast become the attorney-outlaw of his BFF Michael Yang and Pharmally,” the detained senator further said.
Duterte recently ordered the military and the police not to effect any arrest order against any resource persons summoned by the Senate to its investigation into the Department of Budget and Management’ s Procurement Service (DBM-PS) purchase of overpriced personal protective equipment (PPEs) from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.
The Chief Executive has also repeatedly defended his former presidential economic adviser Yang from allegations of corruption.
“As commander-in-chief of all uniformed personnel and government I am ordering the police and the military to stay out of this trouble. Huwag kayong sumali, huwag kayong sumunod kasi may krisis na tayo (Do not join, do not follow them because we are already in a crisis),” he said.
Duterte has also threatened to bar Cabinet officials and witnesses from appearing in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee probe, headed by Sen. Richard Gordon. He also lashed out angrily at Gordon and the other members of the Senate for pursuing the probe.
De Lima, a vocal critic of the Duterte administration, slammed the leader for acting like the Senate “does not have to sign off on his budget.”
“He is willing to have a reenacted budget in an election year during the pandemic just to protect his corrupt friends in Pharmally,” she noted.