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Roque scoffs at SBRC’s recommendation to charge Duterte

By: Mary Rose Sagarino - CDN Digital Correspondent | February 05,2022 - 08:37 PM


Senatorial aspirant Harry Roque / Mary Rose Sagarino

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The recommendation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to file charges against President Rodrigo Duterte and several others over the allegedly anomalous purchase of pandemic-related supplies is an arsenal of ‘persecution’ according to a UniTeam senatorial candidate

Former Presidential Spokesperson and senatorial aspirant Harry Roque said it is just a scrap of paper because the senate has not yet voted on that in the plenary.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee headed by Sen. Richard Gordon has recommended the filing of charges against Duterte, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, former procurement officials, Pharmally executives, and several others over the anomalous purchase of pandemic-related supplies.

In its partial report on the alleged misuse of pandemic funds of the Department of Health (DOH), the Blue Ribbon Committee said Duterte should be held liable for the “pre-meditated plunder” committed by several individuals linked to the anomaly.

Roque said the report should also have to prove the elements of a crime of plunder which he doubts. He said they cannot charge Duterte just because he was the one who appointed former Procurement Service-Department of Budget Management (DBM) officer-in-charge Lloyd Christopher Lao.

Roque said the recommendation is an aid of persecution to tarnish President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies “in aid of re-election.”

He said this is because Gordon as per survey polls is no longer in the Top 12.

Roque said the president does not have a presidential candidate and only has senatorial candidates.

He said that the UniTeam is now the administration party because there are at least three former cabinet officials running under the team including Roque, Mark Villar, and Gringo Honasan, and incumbent Davao City Mayor and vice-presidential aspirant Sara Duterte-Carpio who also happens to be the presidential daughter.

Roque said Sara Duterte has nothing to do with the issue. He said the president and Sara have even quarreled before because she did not run for president.

He said violating the Government Procurement Reform Act (RA 9184) which was one of the reasons cited in the draft report by the Committee is not illegal as based on the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (RA 11469), because it is exempted from RA 9184.

“Hindi po talaga dapat sundin ang 9184 in times of public emergency na dapat mabilisan ang pagbili nang PPEs to save lives particularly the frontliners…Ang batas din ang nagsabi at ang chairman nang Blue Ribbon Committee ay isa rin sa bumoto para sa bayanihan (Act),” said Roque.      /rcg

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TAGS: Harry Roque, Pharmally, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, Senate blue ribbon committee, UniTeam

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