Duterte Denies 'Ghost Deliveries' of COVID-19 Supplies

What corruption?
Photo/s: Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday rejected allegations of corruption in the government's procurement of COVID-19 medical gear and supplies, dismissing allegations of bogus deliveries.

Allegations of overpriced COVID-19 supplies and "ghost deliveries" are untrue, Duterte said as he accused senators investigating alleged misuse of government  funds of grandstanding.

"There was no overpricing which some senators were trying so desperately to establish. Everything was delivered. There were no ghost deliveries as some senators were implying," Duterte said in his public address taped Wednesday but aired Thursday morning.

"Iinsultuhin ko kayo eh, Kayong mga b*bo na walang malaman kundi mag-grandstanding Wala naman talaga kayong magawa," he said.

Duterte's statement came days after the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which investigates alleged wrongdoings of government, questioned the delivery by Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. of 500,000 pieces of surgical masks on the same day the request was issued and despite having no inventory.

Lawmakers are investigating why Pharmally bagged over P8 billion worth of medical supplies contracts last year despite being a small-capitalized firm. Pharmally has also been linked to Duterte's former economic adviser Michael Yang.

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Duterte also accused Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee, of corruption as he cleared his Cabinet officials of wrongdoing in the government's pandemic response.

"I would be lying if I say there is no corruption. In some other offices now, agencies, department, there are. But I’m making you this guarantee, ‘yong Cabinet members ko wala ‘yan. Puro malinis ‘yan. Ang mga senador, meron, Gordon is one," Duterte said.

Duterte's government has been under criticism for its COVID-19 pandemic response as the country struggles with a surge in infections driven mostly by the hyper contagious coronavirus Delta variant.

Vaccinations are also sluggish with only some 16 million Filipinos completing their jabs against an initial target of 77 million by November 2021.

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