Duterte orders executive dept not to attend Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered all the members of the executive department to no longer obey the subpoena of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee conductih an inquiry on the government's procurement of COVID-19 response supplies.
In his public address, aired late Thursday night, Duterte directed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to prepare a memorandum that he will issue to all the members of the executive department, after Senator Richard Gordon said on their 10th hearing that they will continue to inquiry "until kingdom come."
"I will issue a memorandum that all of those in the executive department will no longer obey your summons because you say until kingdom come. It is hard until kingdom come. You are overstepping your jurisdiction. This is an abuse of discretion already. This is not an acceptable statement… we are run by laws and rules and you cannot do that for you to wait for kingdom come," he said.
"So when you subpoena those who are from the executive department because I no longer like it, based on your statement that you will conduct the investigation until kingdom come, I will just pull back secretaries (Francisco) Duque and Sec. (Carlito) Galvez to focus, pay your attention to our problem on pandemic. Never mind Gordon, he is nothing," he added.
As he knows the lawmaker may arrest those who will not obey on their subpoena for contempt, Duterte warned the Senate sergeant at arms that he will be arrested if he tried to arrest anyone from the executive department for contempt or not attending the Senate hearing
"This statement of yours will create a crisis, so we better prepare for that, and you say that this can go on until kingdom come. It means at the end of the world," he said.
Duterte also directed the police and military to stay out of the crisis or not to follow the order of Gordon.
"You will order the sergeant at arms to arrest the person refusing to head your summons subpoena. I said that you are out of bounds amounting to lack of jurisdiction so I will tell that sergeant at arms now do not ever attempt to arrest anybody because you will be arrested," he said.
"Now you will order the police and the military, but me, as the commander in chief of all the uniformed personnel of the government, I am ordering the police and the military and everybody to stay out of this... do not participate here because we already have a crisis," said Duterte.
"I will order the police not to obey you. You may resort to using the military. I will tell the military to stay out. My order is to stay put. Do not follow the order of Gordon because he is now threading on dangerous..., his hearing is an exercise of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction," he added. Robina Asido/DMS