Gordon thanks various groups for support to pursue probe on Pharmally scandal

Gordon thanks various groups for support to pursue probe on Pharmally scandal

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon
Committee today thanked various sectors and groups for their
overwhelming support to its investigation into the alleged anomalous
procurement deals that marred the government’s response to COVID-19
pandemic.

In a statement, Gordon said the outpouring of public support has
bolstered the Senate’s resolve to continue finding out the truth
behind the scandalous deals with a private supplier Pharmally
Pharmaceutical Corporation.

“We thank members of the healthcare sector, various universities and
alumni groups, the academe, the Catholic Church, and reputable
lawyers’ organizations for speaking out against the corruption
plaguing this administration,” he said.

“Your Senate is more than determined to get the bottom of this
anomaly. The Filipino people have long suffered during this pandemic,
and the government owes them an explanation where the public funds for
COVID-19 response went,” he added.

Droves of statements of support started pouring in after Mr. Duterte
ordered his Cabinet officials and their employees not to attend the
Senate’s investigation and for the law enforcement authorities not to
cooperate in serving its arrest orders.

Former health secretaries, notably Esperanza Cabral and Manuel Dayrit,
public health advocate Tony Leachon, and various respectable medical
societies have called on Mr. Duterte to allow the Senate to exercise
its oversight function unhampered.

Among other medical and allied/paramedical organizations that signed
the petition include Makati Medical Center, Philippine College of
Physicians, Philippine Pediatric Society, Private Hospitals
Association of the Philippines, and others.

Business associations, such as the Management Association of the
Philippines, Makati Business Club, and Shareholders Association of the
Philippines, have also called on the Duterte administration to
cooperate with the Senate’s investigation.

University systems under the De La Salle, St. Paul University in
Manila, and several alumni groups of Ateneo de Manila and the University
of the Philippines have also spoken up against attempts to derail the
Senate investigation.

Even the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and Philippine Bar
Association (PBA) have also expressed grave concern over Duterte’s
directives, which they said, violate the separation of powers among
executive and legislative branches of government.

“The Senate has the power to enforce its own processes in accordance
with the Rules of the Senate governing its legislative investigations
which is recognized under our Constitution and settled jurisprudence,”
the PBA said in an official statement.

Gordon, a lawyer by profession, underscored the importance of the
Senate’s vast scope of legislative inquiry, which is as important as
its lawmaking powers, in finding out how the government spent public
funds for COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are getting closer to the very meat of these shenanigans. We will
pursue our investigation without relent, and run after those who
deliberately lied and evaded our questions. They will have to answer
to our people,” he said.

Since the start of the Senate blue ribbon committee’s investigation,
Gordon and other senators have been subjected to incessant attacks
from Mr. Duterte, his minions, and their paid trolls to discredit them
and distract them from investigating. (ai/mtvn)

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