2022 ELECTION

LACSON, SOTTO slam Duterte for hitting senators probing Covid-19 fund use

President should address the “incompetence and corruption” in his government

By ROGER M. BALANZA

“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.”

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday, August 27 dished out this advice to President Rodrigo Duterte who blasted senatorss conducting investigations into how government spent the multi-billion-peso Covid-19 response fund.

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Duterte chided on Thursday night the alleged “posturing” of some senators who are taking advantage of the Commission on Audit’s (COA) audit reports on several government agencies’ deficiencies in spending.

In his taped Talk to the People, Duterte told Filipinos not to be swayed by the investigations by some senators who merely want to gain publicity.

“Huwag ho kayong maniwala diyan sa imbestigasyon, imbestigasyon. Makita naman ninyo walang nangyayari, purro lang ‘we will investigate, investigate,’ pagkatapos niyan… It begins with a bluster and it—matapos ‘yan a whiff,” he said.

Duterte accused some senators of using the Senate investigations merely to promote themselves.

Lacson – who is planning to run for president in the high-stakes 2022 elections – advised Duterte to read about the mandate given to all three branches of government.

Instead of hitting at legislators looking into the Covid-19 funds, Lacson said the President should address the “incompetence and corruption” in his government.

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

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who plans to run for vice president, reminded Duterte that several of his appointees are now facing cases because Senate hearings exposed their alleged corrupt practices. 

“Baka nakalimutan lang niya or misinformed siya (Maybe he forgot or he was misinformed). I will send him the Senate report on the committee of the whole investigation on PhilHealth. Most of his appointed officers have now pending cases and were removed because of the Senate investigation,” said Sotto.

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