Bong Go Accuses Gordon of Bullying During Probe on COA Findings

Still on the DOH billion-peso budget.
Photo/s: Senate of the Philippines

Sen. Bong Go on Tuesday accused Sen. Richard Gordon of bullying during a Senate investigation into deficiencies in the Department of Health's use of P67 billion to fight COVID-19.

Go unleashed a series of tirades against Gordon for saying that he could be investigated by the Senate ethics committee over his alleged links to a former Budget Usec. Lloya Lao, who was tagged in the issue of overpriced face masks and shields.

Go said that while he supports the Senate blue ribbon panel chaired by Gordon in finding out the truth on the misuse of pandemic funds, it should not have resorted to "bullying" during their investigation.

Go decried how resource persons during the hearing had been cut off even before they finished their statements.

He said that while he was allowed to talk during the inquiry to clear his name over links to Lao, Gordon supposedly would make it appear in the media that he owed the panel chair his chance to speak.

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"Tulad ninyong lahat, hinalal din po ako ng tao dito. Karapatan ko magsalita dito at sa mga hearings na miyembro naman ako," Go said.

"Hindi ko yun utang na loob sa sinuman sa inyo dahil pribilehiyo at responsibilidad iyon na ibinigay sa akin ng taumbayan bilang kanilang representante," he added.

Go also hit Gordon for questioning his close ties to President Rodrigo Duterte even as he was a senator now.

"Anong karapatan mo na kwestyunin ang pagiging malapit ko sa Pangulo? As long as walang conflict sa trabaho ko at ginagampanan ko ang trabaho ko wala kang karapatang kwestyunin ito, at wala kang pakialam," he said.

As the chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, Go should inhibit himself from further hearing all matters involving PhilHealth, citing conflict of interest, Go said.

Go also maintained that Duterte would not allow any form of corruption in the government, and that he would resign from his post if it was found that he himself was involved in corrupt activities.

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In response, Gordon said he was saddened by how they came to this point and that the Philippine Red Cross was dragged into it. He said that it was the government which asked the help of his organization in its pandemic response.

Gordon, who heads the PRC, said Go's tirades against him were meant to distract their investigation.

"May sama ng loob ang ginoo from Davao, there are rules in the Senate that you can go to but this chair will not be distracted," Gordon said.

"Huwag namang sabihin na inaapi ko sila, wala akong inaapi. At hindi ko kayo tinototoy," he added.

Earlier in the day, Duterte also threw insults at Gordon, accusing the senator of sinophobia and criticizing him for his weight.

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