De Lima slams Duterte’s incessant efforts to act as Yang’s, Pharmally’s lawyer

De Lima slams Duterte’s incessant efforts to act as Yang’s, Pharmally’s lawyer

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima chided Mr. Duterte for
continuously acting as “attorney-outlaw” of Chinese businessman
Michael Yang and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. officials, following
his decision to keep Cabinet officials off the Senate probe on
overpriced COVID-19 medical supplies despite a plea from the Department
of Justice (DOJ).

De Lima, social justice and human rights champion lamented how
Duterte allegedly rebuffed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s
recommendation to recall Malacañang’s controversial Oct. 4 memorandum
banning all executive officials from taking part in the Senate Blue
Ribbon Committee inquiry.

“The DOJ revealed that Duterte spurned Secretary Guevarra’s advice to
him to recall his order preventing executive officials from appearing
before the Blue Ribbon Committee’s Pharmally hearings,” she said in a
statement posted on Twitter.

“Patuloy lang na tumatayong abogado ni Michael Yang at Pharmally si
Duterte, at kahit sarili nyang DOJ ay di na niya pinapakinggan.
Sobrang garapal ang Pangulo sa pagtatanggol sa mga mandarambong,” she
added.

Earlier, Duterte required Cabinet members to secure his clearance
first before attending Senate inquiries. His statement came as the
Senate continues to investigate the purchase of allegedly overpriced
medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the link of his former
economic adviser Yang to anomalous contracts.

During the deliberations on the proposed budget of the DOJ, Guevarra
admitted that he was rebuffed by Duterte when he tried to initiate a
review of Malacañang’s controversial Oct. 4 memorandum imposing the
said ban.

Notably, Senate leaders earlier petitioned the Supreme Court to strike
down the directive issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on
behalf of the president for being unconstitutional.

In a separate statement, De Lima said she believes that Duterte is
willing to go the extra mile if it means saving the Davao mafia in
their 8.7 billion heist.

“Duterte acting as attorney-outlaw of Yang and Pharmally officials is
not surprising. Kaya niyang balewalain ang batas para lang pagtakpan
at ipagtanggol ang mga tiwaling sangkot sa pandarambong. Ano nga bang
mapapala ni Duterte, bakit nya pilit pinagtatakpan ang anomalyang ito?
Halatang siya ang mastermind ng katiwaliang ito,” she said. (ai/mtvn)

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