If it were up to him, President Rodrigo R. Duterte wants former presidential spokesperson and senatorial bet Harry Roque to “replace” reelectionist senator and Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairperson Richard Gordon in the Senate.
“I think you should really be in the Senate…You should replace the likes of Gordon,” Duterte told Roque during the second episode of President’s Chatroom aired on state-run PTV-4 on Sunday night.
Duterte slammed Gordon anew for his investigation of the government’s allegedly irregular contracts with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. to provide medical supplies at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
He said Gordon and other senators grilled his Cabinet officials for hours, wasting time that should otherwise have been used at work.
“The only thing really that I was not in agreement with them in the morning, and yet the whole day they would summon them, they would be there in the morning and just sit there the whole day without being called,” he said.
Roque, for his part, described the probe conducted by Gordon’s Senate Blue Ribbon committee as done “in aid of election.”
“They didn’t craft any laws. The report didn’t even get the majority of the committee members’ signature,” he said.
He said it is also “embarrassing” for Gordon to use the PRC in his political advertisements.
“It’s embarrassing that we have a chairman using the Red Cross in his advertisement for elections,” he said.
With Roque in the Senate, Duterte said he could inform the International Red Cross about Gordon’s alleged misdeeds in a privilege speech.
“That’s why I want you to be there in the Senate. I’m just going to ask you to just tell the truth. Just give a privilege speech and tell the truth and nothing but the truth so that people will know so that the International Red Cross will know what he is doing,” he added.
Duterte earlier said Gordon used the PRC as his “milking cow” to fund his election campaign.