Sat. May 28th, 2022

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday night said he will ask the Ombudsman to probe reelectionist senator Richard Gordon over alleged malversation of funds when he was chairperson of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

(pna.gov.ph)

Duterte reiterated that the Commission on Audit (COA) issued a notice of disallowance for PHP140 million to SBMA under Gordon’s leadership, but the senator allegedly pocketed PHP86 million.

“After I exposed him, what he did was request for a re-audit again. So that’s why I’ll say this now because I won’t be President any longer, I will tell the Ombudsman to, you know, you start to investigate him for malversation,” he said in a speech during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally at the BECES Grounds in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

Gordon previously denied the allegation, saying he did not steal any funds when he was SBMA chairperson from 1992 to 1998.

“Sa (in) COA, everyone in government knows this, he borrowed PHP186 million when he was still in Subic. He diverted the PHP86 million to his personal account. When he submitted the liquidation, it was disallowed and so he received a notice of disallowance,” Duterte added.

Duterte then told the audience members to elect the candidates from the PDP-Laban slate and to “replace” senators with “existing cases” like Gordon.

“Gordon and other candidates there, you haven’t met them, walang kahulugan ‘yan sa buhay ninyo (they have no importance in your life). But the people I introduced here onstage are the people who are truly serving you,” he said.

Gordon earlier led a Senate investigation of the government’s alleged irregular contracts with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. to provide medical supplies at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

Duterte was frustrated that his Cabinet officials’ time was being wasted and they could no longer focus on the more pressing problems such as the Covid-19 pandemic due to Senate probe.

“We are enemies now. He kept on attacking me because I reprimanded him because [National Task Force against Covid-19 implementer] Secretary [Carlito] Galvez and [Health] Secretary [Francisco] Duque were scheduled to go to the airport to receive the vaccines,” he added. 

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