Lacson claps back at Duterte’s statement that Senate inquiries are all in vain

Maris Federez   •   August 27, 2021   •   364

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has belied the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that inquiries conducted by the Senate never ended up going anywhere.

Lacson said the general public has been enjoying a significant number of laws that the Senate has enacted based on the inquiries and investigations conducted by the upper chamber of Congress.

The Senator, in a seeming swipe at the President, told the chief executive to review the separation of powers in government.

“Magbasa rin muna siya tungkol sa doktrina ng Separation of Powers at Checks and Balances ng Ehekutibo, Kongreso at Hudikatura bago niya kami pakialaman sa Senado,” Lacson said.

The President, Lacson said, should instead focus his attention on the performance of the Cabinet, not just in addressing the pandemic but also in other aspects of governance.

“Sa halip, asikasuhin niya ang mga kakulangan ng sangay ng gobyerno na kanyang pinamumunuan na hitik sa incompetence at corruption, hindi lang sa pagtugon sa pandemya kundi sa maraming aspeto ng governance,” he said.

Lacson also expressed his disappointment that the President has been the one defending his officials who are the subject of their investigation, instead of being the one to charge these officials for their inaction or poor performance.

“Kaya hindi nakakasuhan ang ilang matataas na opisyal na naging subject ng pag-iimbestiga namin ay dahil ipinagtatanggol niya sa halip na makasuhan,” he said.

“Hindi trabaho ng Senado ang magsampa ng demanda. Trabaho ng Executive Branch iyon. Judiciary naman ang magpapakulong. Mahirap bang i-memorize yan?” Lacson added. —/mbmf

Duterte takes blame for lack of vaccine supply in early 2021

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has taken the blame for the Philippines’ vaccine shortage in the early months of 2021.

During his weekly public address on Monday evening (October 11), Duterte lamented that it was difficult to get vaccines back then especially when the country has no vaccine manufacturing company. He said that the country had to fight with other nations just to get supplies.

Duterte added that he deserves the blame since he is the one seated in office.

Iyan ang nakabigay ng problema sa akin at kung mayroon man nagkasala diyan, aminin ko na lang. Kasi wala rin ako magawa, gusto ko bumili, wala naman ako mabilihan,” he said.

However, the chief executive said the vaccine supply in the country has improved which helped bring down the number of cases.

He reported that the weekly average of new COVID-19 cases has dropped to less than 10,000 while the current reproduction rate of the virus has gone down to .77 percent.

“If we continue to ramp up the vaccination of our people, along with our consistent practice of mask and there is gradual resumption of our economic activities, then we can hope for a better and truly merry Christmas,” he said. AAC

Duterte to prepare his ICC defense once he steps down

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (October 4) said he will prepare his defense for the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation after he steps down from office.

The Chief Executive made the statement during his regular public address on Monday night. He also appealed to the ICC and investigators not to lie and fabricate evidence.

Sa maraming dada ng dada ng kaso, hintayin ko kayo. I will prepare for my defense na iyong ICC na iyan. Huwag lang kayong magsinungaling(To those who keep bringing up the case, I will prepare my defense for the ICC. Just don’t lie.)” he said.

Hindi ko kayo tinatakot, huwag niyo ako dayain sa ebidensiya, (I am not intimidating you, just do not fabricate evidence against me),” the president added.

Duterte once again assured policemen and other local authorities of his protection as long as they obey the law.

Meanwhile, the president maintained his stand that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines.

May sarili kaming judicial system dito. Huwag kayong makialam. At saka sinabi ko (We have our own judicial system. Do not interfere. And I did say) you never acquired jurisdiction over my person,” Duterte said. AAC

 

Duterte on Senate probe into Pharmally: ‘More than martial law’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday called the Senate order to detain Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation director Linconn Ong as “more than martial law”.

In his weekly talk to the nation aired Monday night (September 27), Duterte criticized the Senate’s “intimidation” tactics in its investigation on government transactions with Pharmally.

Akala ko ba ayaw ng mga taong Pilipinas ng martial law? Tingnan mo ang ginagawa ng Senado ngayon, (I thought the Philippines does not like martial law? Look at what the Senate is doing now), it is just more than a martial law,” he said.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Senator Richard Gordon has ordered Ong’s detention after citing the latter for contempt for allegedly evading questions regarding Pharmally’s P8 billion worth of transactions with the government. Ong was supposed to be transferred to the Pasay City Jail.

Duterte said the Senate panel is not really looking for answers but expecting specific replies from summoned resource persons.

Kung ayaw ninyo ang sagot, magagalit kayo tapos you threaten (If you don’t like the answer you will get mad and threaten) you will—’We will cite you in contempt and we can detain you forever.’ Is that how a civilized Congress works? Takutan ba ito (Is this intimidation),” he said.

“Do not blame him because that is his truth. You just cannot assume altogether that he is lying. That would be a cockeyed view of what a hearing should be,” he added.

Duterte also wondered what the human rights advocates have to say regarding the issue.

“So ang Human Rights, gusto kong marinig kung ano rin ang sinasabi (I also want to know what they have to say). The Constitution really provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Is there a due process of law if you already have the preconceived answer? And if it does not dovetail your frame of mind, you send him to jail?” he asked.

The president addressed Senator Richard Gordon anew during his speech, telling him to “try to be a lawyer and not a despot.”

“You are not the king of Congress. Please do it for the sake of you, your family, and for the country,” he said. AAC

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