MANILA, Philippines – Senator Richard Gordon on Tuesday raised the possibility that his committee’s investigation into the controversial purchase of “overpriced” goods in connection with the pandemic could extend to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“You go back to the first picture where Pharmally came in. That picture was with the president, “Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, told reporters in an online interview.

Gordon referred to a video from 2017 that showed the President’s former economic adviser Michael Yang and Pharmally officials meeting the President in Davao City.

“Pagpasok, siya (Yang) ang nagpapakilala (When Yang came in, he was the one who introduced himself). He’s the one doing all the talking and then we have other pictures of them, so you can have connections with Pharmally (Pharmally really has connections) … Look how influential this Yang and Pharmally is, ”the Senator continued .

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has investigated the Department of Health’s (DOH) handling of pandemic funds.

During the investigation, Senators had the DOH remittance of 42 billion.

Pharmally stands in The focus of the Senate’s investigation since the DBM-PS, under its former boss Christopher Lao, awarded contracts worth 8.6 billion pesos for the procurement of medical material in 2020, although the company was only a few months old and only had a paid-in capital of 625,000 Pesos.

“[The investigation] can go as high as the president … the president has a lot to explain, suddenly this guy Yang brings in this guy Pharmally, suddenly gets Pharmally it and all his boys give it to him Pharmal. So the president should explain, “Gordon said late Monday in an interview with One News'” The Chiefs. “

In a taped address broadcast on Tuesday, Duterte defended the appointment of his people from the city of Davao to various government offices , including that of Laos, and said he was only paying a thank you.

Duterte said Lao was his “brotherly brother” and was a member of his campaign team in 2016 and provided legal assistance when he was mayor of Davao.

“I don’t know why the president should lose his calm because Lao is under investigation? What are we hiding here? “Gordon went on.

The Senator said that the possibility should also be examined that the award of the contract to Pharmally was influenced by apparent connections with Duterte’s former economic advisor.

” Baka meron pang nagbubulong ‘O tao ni Presidente yan bigyan niyo ng kontrata yan’ Possible or Hindi? We want to know, “said the Senator.

(It may be that someone whispers:” These are the President’s people, they should get contracts. “Possible or not? We want to know.)

In addition, Gordon said the president should also explain why he chose to go against the Senate and the COA instead of his own people.

“Bakit hindi niya sinisita? Sinisita niya kami, Sinisita niya the COA. Ba’t di niya tanungin. “Ikaw Lao, to ba yan? Totoo ba yan na nagbigay ka ng 8.7 billion ditto in Pharmally, totoo ba yang malalaking amount na yan papaayagan mo? ‘”He said.

(Why doesn’t he call them out, why does he call the Senate instead and the COA? Why doesn’t he ask, ‘You, Lao, is that true? Is that true?)

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