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9月14日のまにら新聞から

Palace official tells Senate to file cases if there is corruption in purchase of COVID-19 response supplies

[ 446 words|2021.9.14|英字 ]

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque reiterates the call of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea for lawmakers to just file cases related to the alleged over-priced purchases of COVID-19 response supplies.

"We just call that in the middle of a pandemic, let these people who focus on the COVID response do their duty," he said in a virtual press conference.

''If there is really corruption, let's just file cases and let the Ombudsman decide because if there is evidence, cases can be filed," he added.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Medialdea said the lawmakers are "bullying resource persons" invited to answer their inquiry.

"We have 26,303 cases today. A surge has been going on for almost several days. And yet, most of our officials supposed to attend to this surge are being required to attend hearings for an alleged 'grand plunder' which to date nothing has been shown to prove their case except speculations drawn from bullying of resource persons most of whom have already been criminally condemned," Medialdea said.

"PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) stated that we have to bear with this pandemic. It is worldwide and each country has to address their own concerns. Agree! In our case however we have a pandemic and at the same we have a circus in the very house where people are supposed to care for us," he added.

Medialdea said as of September 11, the Senate has conducted five hearings and he noted that he was informed that several resource persons are still to be called.

"What do we want to achieve here? Break the record of Binay Senate Hearing which totaled 25 days while people are suffering and dying. To prove 'grand plunder'? " he said.

Medialdea said lawmakers should go over the provisions of the Bayanihan law which required the Office of the President to render a weekly report to the Senate and House for all purchases and other activities relative to the pandemic.

"These reports were religiously submitted to you for your comments. Except for a few none of you bothered to give a comment on those reports. Perhaps, have you done so you could have avoided calling for a Blue Ribbon hearing which has ripped a lot of time, effort and money for the government to the prejudice of a more serious problem of addressing the pandemic," he said.

"I have a suggestion to those conducting the Senate hearings. Just file the necessary cases and leave it to the experts tasked to investigate them while you do your jobs to legislate or conduct investigation properly in the aid of legislation. By doing so, you can preserve your energy for the coming elections," he added. Robina Asido/DMS