Gordon, five more pres'l appointees overstaying at Red Cross? - Gadon

The six presidential appointees to the Philippine Red Cross may have already exceeded their term of office as members and officers of the board of the humanitarian non-government organization.

Atty. Larry Gadon2

Anti-corruption advocate lawyer Larry Gadon said President Rodrigo Duterte should now name a new set of appointees if the PRC website has been furnishing the correct information that the current board of nine officers and 20 members have a two year term that would have ended in 2020.

Gadon believes that Senator Richard Gordon, current chairman of PRC, is among the appointees that President Duterte named to the board. He said it is now time for the chief executive to replace Gordon.

“The President has already aired serious doubts about Gordon’s capability in heading PRC. May bahid ng duda ang paggamit ng pondo ng Red Cross at ito ay sangayon na rin sa mga nasabi ni Presidente Duterte (The have been doubts over the use of Red Cross funds and this has already been stated by President Duterte),” explained Gadon.

While the PRC website has not indicated who among the board members are presidential appointees, a check at the list indicated that Gordon and five others are incumbent public officials.

The others are Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Sherwin Gatchalian, Chairperson Rachel Arenas of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board; Quirino Gov. Dax Cua and University of the Philippines President Danilo Concepcion.

Under Republic Act 11072 or the Philippine Red Cross Act of 2019, the president of the country acts as the honorary President of the PRC. While RA 11072 acknowledges that the PRC is autonomous and independent from the government, it should include as members of the board six appointees of the incumbent chief executive of the country.

“Being the appointing authority, President Duterte has the authority to revoke and recall Gordon’s appointment to the PRC board on the basis of loss of trust and confidence,” explained Gadon.

“Also, I believe the president has the right to demand the auditing of PRC financial transactions, including the overall health of its finances, considering the huge amount of public funds being given by government to the organization to support its humanitarian and charitable programs,” he added.

Gadon also noted that under RA 11072, the PRC is tasked to submit an annual report of its accomplishments and financial status to the President.

Duterte and Gordon are currently at loggerheads apparently over the conduct of a Senate probe into the overpricing of face masks, face shields and nees in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic.

At the center of the Blue Ribbon Committee that Gordon chairs is former Undersecretary Christopher Lao, who worked at the Presidential Management Staff and head of the Procurement Service -Department of Budget and Management that procured the overpriced supplies worth over P8 billion.