MANILA — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima chided President Duterte for
ordering the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to defy the Senate’s subpoenas
in its inquiry into the government’s purchase of overpriced medical
supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
De Lima, social justice and human rights champion, lamented how
Duterte is now acting as “attorney-outlaw” of Chinese businessman
Michael Yang and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.
“The order of Duterte to the PNP and the AFP to defy the Senate
arrest orders is illegal and unconstitutional. Duterte has fast become
the attorney-outlaw of his BFF Michael Yang and Pharmally,” she said
in a statement posted on Twitter.
Recently, Duterte ordered the military and police not to arrest anyone
ignoring the Senate’s subpoenas in its inquiry into the purported
corruption in his administration’s pandemic response.
“As commander-in-chief of all uniformed personnel and government, I am
ordering the police and the military to stay out of this trouble.
Huwag kayong sumali, huwag kayong sumunod kasi may krisis na tayo,” he
Prior to this, Duterte spewed a series of orders that would limit the
appearance of Cabinet officials and witnesses in the said Senate Blue
Ribbon Committee probe headed by Sen. Richard Gordon.
It may be recalled that De Lima also recently urged the Ombudsman to
start its preliminary investigation of what she called a
“Public-Private Sector Partnership for Plunder” led by Duterte and
Michael Yang, together with Procurement Service of the Department of
Budget and Management (PS-DBM) and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.
“Kung may nagpapalubha man sa krisis ngayon, walang iba kundi ang
delubyo pa ring dulot ni Duterte. Mas pipiliin pa nyang bastusin at
yurakan ang kapantay na sangay ng gobyerno para lang pagtakpan at
ipagtanggol ang mga tiwaling sangkot sa pandarambong sa gitna ng
pandemya,” she stressed.
“Duterte acts like Senate does not have to sign off on his budget. He
is willing to have a reenacted budget in an election year during the
pandemic just to protect his corrupt friends in Pharmally,” said De