Duterte 'not bothered' by face shield expiration date issue, continuing Senate probe

Saying that he is “not bothered” by the Senate’s inquiry into allegations of corruption within his administration, President Duterte once more came to the defense of Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Inc., this time over its tampering of the production dates on medical-grade face shields procured by the government for medical frontliners.

President Rodrigo Duterte (RTVM Screenshot)

He once more attacked Senator Richard Gordon, who heads the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, for looking into the multi-billion peso contracts the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS) entered into with Pharmally--a newly-minted pharmaceutical company that allegedly substandard medical supplies to the country.

“Talagang itong sila Gordon (Gordon and company are) obvious na wala nang bi—wala nang ibang mahanap na pupuwedeng ibato ng (they cannot find anything to throw as) issue against officials of the executive. Eh ako (Me), I am not— I am not bothered at all,” the President said during a pre-taped public address on Monday night, Sept. 27.

He scoffed at Gordon’s remark that he’s "shaken" by what’s happening in the Senate’s ongoing inquiry, adding that the senator wouldn’t understand where he’s coming from since the latter led a “gilded life” as the son of a rich family.

READ: Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings worse than martial law, says Duterte

Duterte alleged that the senators are “confused” and that “They are trying their best to confuse everyone with the --- even with their witnesses.”

Duterte made such remarks after one of Pharmally’s executive, Krizle Grace Mago, admitted that they changed the manufacturing date on the medical face shields procured by the government so that it will pass the DOH’s standard.

“He (Gordon) cannot differentiate the quality if you allegedly tampered with the certificate of production or the certificate of expiration,” he said.

READ: Gordon says Pharmally exec's admission of tampering of face shield quality already 'damaging'

“Kasi kung mayroong ano (Because if there is), production, there must be also an expiration date, kagaya ng medisina (like in medicine). But it ain’t that way sa (with) plastic, sa totoo lang (in truth),” the President added, hinting that Gordon might have never used plastic in his life.

Duterte shared that his father had plastic installed in their home garage back in the 1980s. Until now, that plastic still stands.

“Nandiyan pa ‘yung plastic (The plastic is still there), although scratches nandiyan (are there). Sa awa ng Diyos, ‘yung (With God’s grace, the) plastic na ‘yun, hindi medical grade ‘yun, at hindi naman ‘yun binili dahil sa (it’s not medical grade and it was not bought because of the) pandemic,” he said, adding that it might take 10 to 15 years before plastic will "expire".