Palace to get Ombudsman involved in making Gordon pay back P86M

President Duterte said he wants the Office of the Ombudsman to take cognizance of Senator Richard Gordon's alleged failure to pay the P86 million he owes to the government.

President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Senator Richard Gordon (Photos from Facebook)

Duterte once again brought up Gordon's name in his latest "Talk to the People" public briefing, which concluded at past midnight Wednesday, Oct. 20.

It has been almost a month since the Chief Executive "exposed" that no less than the Supreme Court (SC) had ordered Gordon to return the P86 million, which was part of the P140 million worth public funds that the Commission on Audit (COA) had issued a notice of disallowance for.

The disallaowance was reportedly incurred during Gordon's time as Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman from March 13, 1992 to June 30, 1998.

"You have not even taken steps to deliver the P86 million. And so I think we will have to see if we can call the Ombudsman to step in because matagal na itong utang na ito at final and executory na (this was incurred a long time ago and the order to return it is already final and executory)," Duterte said during the briefing.

The current Ombudsman, former SC Associate Justice Samuel Martires, was appointed to his position by Duterte in 2018.

Duterte wondered out loud over how Gordon managed to avoid paying back the huge sum of money that he had "taken".

He gave a sarcastic answer for his own query.

"So bakit kung senador ang may tama, walang nagagawa at ilang taon na to (Why is it that if senators are at fault, nothing is done to them even if years have already passed). So itong mga senador siguro (So maybe these senators), they are exempted from the operation of the law," the President said.

Gordon chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee as well as then Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

Duterte has repeatedly criticized Gordon for the way he has run both the Blue Ribbon panel and the PRC in his past briefings.