Duterte threatens to jail senators if they cite Cabinet execs for contempt

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the inauguration of the Bonifacio Global City to Ortigas Center Road Link Project in Taguig City on Sept. 30, 2021. (File photo by KING RODRIGUEZ / Presidential Photographers Division)

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte threatened on Wednesday to have senators jailed if they would cite Cabinet members for contempt during the probe on the government’s purchase of allegedly overpriced pandemic supplies from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

In his latest televised briefing this week, Duterte, speaking partly in Filipino, gave this directive to Cabinet members: “Don’t let Gordon or any senator shout at you and berate you. If they do, stand up and tell them this: ‘I am here to testify to the truth. Don’t yell at me. I am not your servant. I am not your subordinate.’”


Duterte was referring to Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the blue ribbon committee which is conducting the Pharmally hearings.

“If they cite you for contempt, I will jail the senators,” Duterte added.


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In a previous briefing, Duterte warned of a constitutional crisis if senators would be rude to Cabinet members during hearings.


Duterte warns of ‘crisis’ if Senate would be ‘rude’ to Cabinet during hearing

He has also signed a memorandum barring Cabinet officials from attending Senate hearings on the Pharmally contracts.


Duterte issues memo forbidding Cabinet execs from attending Pharmally probe

In his briefing, Duterte also said no police or military personnel would follow Senate orders.

He had earlier told police and military not to arrest anyone ignoring the Senate’s subpoenas in its inquiries.


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