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Duterte defends Duque anew, tells senators to wait for official report amid overpricing claims

Defending Health Secretary Francis Duque once more, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday told senators to wait for the official report on the bidding for the medical equipment used by the government against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"Wag ho kayo maniwala, ako na 'yung nag sasabi sa inyo. 'Yung mga test-test, 'yung sabi nila they drag the name of Secretary Duque, hindi ho totoo 'yun. Ang nagbili nu'n ang Budget pati 'yung Office of the President mismo," Duterte said amid allegations that COVID-19 test kits bought by the government were overpriced.

"Itong mga bidder na ito who offered a lower price, never never participated in the bidding at ngayon matapos na yun ang nagrereklamo offering a lower price hoping that you would ignore the bidding and go for their price," he added.

Last week, Duque was grilled by Senator Panfilo Lacson on the equipment while Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon expressed concern over the allegedly overpriced COVID-19 test kits.

"It just so happened that we have some talagang bull-- na mga tao at kayo maniniwala agad, you better wait for the official report. At least for respeto, a little respect... kasi sinadya ko yan," he said.

The President said that the report is "the stand of the Office of the President."

"Itong si Sen Drilon [sabi] I want [to know] where the money went. Well you will have the explanation and better believe it because yun ang totoo. Hindi naman kami nambobola," Duterte said.

"I said, sinabi ko, do not fu-- with the people’s money with more reason that we will not fuck with the money," he added. -MDM, GMA news