Gordon won't rush Blue Ribbon probe on Pharmally scandal

Senator Richard Gordon on Saturday, October 16, said that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's inquiry on the government's COVID-19 pandemic purchases will continue even amid talks on the 2022 elections.

Sen. Richard Gordon (MANILA BULLETIN File Photo)

"Tatapusin natin 'yan at hindi naman importante 'yong tapusin basta-basta dahil lang nagmamadali ka. Ang kailangan matapos mo nang may kahalagahan, may kalidad 'yong ginawa mo. Hindi ako namumulitika rito (We will finish it and we cannot just end it abruptly just because we want to rush it. We should finish it in a manner that our output will have value and be of quality. I am not politicking here)," Gordon, who is seeking reelection to the Senate, said in an interview over radio DWIZ.

"Ang importante, makita ng bayan na pwede tayong mag-imbestiga nang malaya...para malinaw sa tao na dapat matigil na 'yong paghuthot sa bayan (What's more important is that our people see that we can investigate freely and to make them realize that we have to stop corruption in government)," he added.

At least two of Gordon's colleagues, Senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Francis Tolentino, believed that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee should expedite and wrap up its marathon hearings.

The panel, chaired by Gordon, tackles the transfer of some P42 billion in COVID-19 funds from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Department of Budget and Management's Procurement Service (DBM-PS), and has zeroed in on the DBM-PS' controversial award of multi-billion-peso contracts to Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, a newly-incorporated foreign firm which supposedly lacked the financial capability in supplying the government medical supplies.

Its 12th hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 19.

Gordon said he is preparing a preliminary committee report on the liability of the individuals involved in the allegedly questionable deals.

"Malinaw na kung ano ang ginawa...Ito ang mananagot sa anti-graft, sa violation procurement law, sino ba talaga nagpaikot niyan at paanong nangyari yan (We will spell out what was done...Those who could be liable for violating the anti-graft law, the procurement law; those who manipulated and how it came about)," said the senator.

"Kung ano lang ang nakalap namin, 'yon ang ilalabas (We will release what we have gathered)," he said.

President Duterte has been railiing against senators for the Senate probe. He issued a memorandum barring members of his Cabinet from attending the inquiry without his consent.