Wed. May 18th, 2022

Two other personalities supposedly close to President Rodrigo Duterte have been summoned to an ongoing Senate hearing over questionable purchases of medical supplies made by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

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This, as Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go asked Senator Richard Gordon to inhibit as chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee as his chairing the Red Cross may present possible conflict of interest.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee, said on Tuesday that to be summoned are two other associates of Duterte Go, and a Chinese ex-presidential adviser. DBM Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao already appeared before the Senate hearings.

“If you are a lawyer worth your salt, you look at the common denominator: They belong to the same fraternity with the president; they are all from Davao; and they all come from the office of SAP [Special Assistant to the President] Bong Go,” Gordon said, referring to the two who are lawyers.

Gordon was also responding to the tirades made by Duterte castigating senators over the hearings conducted over the alleged overpricing by the PS-DBM of face masks, face shields, personal protective equipment, and other pandemic supplies.

Also under fire is former economic adviser, Michael Yang, and Pharmally International Holding Co. Ltd. that bagged P8.7 billion worth of contracts for pandemic supplies that were allegedly overpriced.

Duterte has defended Yang from critics, including a dismissed police officer.

“You know, Zhao is a colonel of the People’s Liberation Army. He’s military. Will he allow himself [to be associated with a drug lord]?” Duterte said.

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