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9月4日のまにら新聞から

Duterte claims Gordon using Red Cross as “milking cow”

[ 722 words|2021.9.4|英字 ]

By Robina Asido

President Rodrigo Duterte accused Senator Richard Gordon of using the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) as a "milking cow" to fund his election campaign.

In his taped Talk to the People aired on television Thursday night, Duterte reveals Gordon's alleged plan to run for vice presidency in next year's election.

"Gordon, are you really investigating in aid of legislation or in aid of your personal political interest? I heard that you want to run for the vice president next year and you are trying to impress the opposition that they would consider you. Is it true, Senator Gordon?," he said.

Duterte said Gordon, chairman of the PRC, is reportedly controlling the organization for his political interest.

"As far as I can remember, even before I entered politics, Gordon, you already hold the Red Cross and you control the agency like the way you control everything. You are so bossy," he said.

"Is the Red Cross saving money so that it would eventually pass a resolution to set aside the big amount to fund your election plans just like the funds you used in the 2010 campaign? ... You're using the Red Cross for the elections. This is your milking cow. You have been there for quite a time. Is it not fair to say now that you should let it go and give others a chance? ," he added.

Duterte said the PRC under Gordon violated the "Expanded Senior Citizens Act", which grants additional benefits and privileges to senior citizens.

"Red Cross is to be a non-profit organization, but amid of the onset of the pandemic, Red Cross under you, charge testing at (uneconomical) rate for around 4, 700 pesos. It is without any discounts for seniors citizen and PWDs. Is this not a clear violation of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act? Please answer this because it is a violation of law to deprive the senior citizens and PWDs of lower prices in consideration of their present situation," he said.

Duterte also revealed and criticized the alleged plan of Gordon to sell Covid-19 vaccines for P3,500 .

"Now you have even plans on selling vaccines and said charging 3500 pesos per shot is just fair, Moderna vaccine just costs $51 or just about 2500 pesos. What is the extra 1000 for and for whom? ... in the light in the pandemic situation in the Philippines, is this fair move of yours during the time when the Philippines is suffering from just like other nations the effects of pandemic? ," he said.

Duterte recalled how the PRC under the leadership of Gordon threatened to stop COVID-19 testing when Philhealth failed to pay their debts to the organization.

"When we were busy testing everybody and we ask for your help…Red Cross is supposed to be a humanitarian organization. Whebn the government is struggling to source funds, you threatened to stop testing. I’d like to ask the Filipino people did you noticed it before, Gordon was angry. He said if the government will not pay he threatened that they will stop the testing," he said.

"I cannot see the rationale of your statement. You threatened government with something which ought to be done by you irrespective of weather or not there is a money or not because in this kind of situation all transactions with government is really the fact that everybody wants to help," he added.

Duterte also asked Gordon where the P193 million pork barrel he allegedly allocated to the Red Cross went when a plunder complaint was filed against him in 2017.

"Remember the plunder complaint filed against you by a co-senator in 2017? You allegedly allocated P193 million for pork barrel to Red Cross and used the same for your campaign. You have done many things that you should not do as a public official," he said.

He said Gordon should also be cited in contempt for allegedly lying before the public when he claimed that he did not sign the memorandum of agreement between the Philhealth and the PRC.

"Somebody from the Senate should cite you for contempt you have the copy of the MOA and it is there clearly. There’s your signature. You were lying to the... before the public. Please answer this. You said you did not said but it was signed by you," he added. DMS