2 more close associates of Duterte, Go summoned by Senate

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Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades, Senator Richard Gordon is summoning two other personalities close to the president and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go to shed light on the purchases of allegedly overpriced medical supplies made by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee, said on Tuesday two other associates of Duterte and Go, and a Chinese ex-presidential adviser will be summoned to the Senate hearing on the matter.

“If you are a lawyer worth your salt, you look at the common denominator: They belong to the same fraternity with the president; they are all from Davao; and they all come from the office of SAP [Special Assistant to the President] Bong Go,” Gordon said.

DBM Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao already appeared before the Senate hearings, and was grilled over the purchase by the PS-DBM of face masks, face shields, personal protective equipment, and other pandemic supplies. It was also uncovered that Pharmally International Holding Co. Ltd. bagged P8.7 billion worth of contracts for pandemic supplies that were allegedly overpriced.

Michael Yang, a former economic adviser is also under fire, but Duterte is defending him and dismissed talks that Yang was into the illegal drugs trade.

“You know, Zhao is a colonel of the People’s Liberation Army. He’s military. Will he allow himself [to be associated with a drug lord]?” Duterte said.

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