President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday questioned Senator Richard Gordon if he parked P88 million of pork barrel funds in the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) which he chairs.
"Wala akong nakita except for ditong kay [Janet Lim-] Napoles. Gusto kong malaman na tumanggap ka ba ng was it P88 million sa PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) mo. Ito, kung totoo lang," Duterte said during his weekly talk to the nation.
(I could not see anything except this matter involving [businesswoman and pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-] Napoles. I want to know, did you receive was it P88 million in PDAF? If it is true.)
"Inindicate mo sa PDAF, pinarking mo doon yung PDAF mo so you commingled it with the money of the Congress, ay of the Red Cross, and of Congress 'yung nakuha mo," he added.
(You indicated in your PDAF, you parked your PDAF there [in PRC] so you commingled it with the money of the Congress, oh of the Red Cross, and of Congress what you received.)
"Ngayon (Now), the money is lost forever. It cannot be accounted for. If this is true. Kung totoo itong pinarking mo talaga. Ang nagsasabi nga niyan mga taga-Red Cross na meron kang nakuha inisali mo doon sa pera ng Red Cross," Duterte said.
(If it is true that you really parked it there. Those who are saying you did are people from the Red Cross. They said you got [PDAF] and commingled it with the money of the Red Cross.)
"Kung hindi totoo, patawarin na po. Pero kung totoo ito, you must answer it," he said.
(If this is not true, please forgive me. But if it is true, you must answer it.)
Gordon on Wednesday confirmed that a portion of his PDAF was given to the PRC in 2010, but stressed that the funds were all liquidated and approved.
PDAF is the discretionary fund made available to members of Congress.
Gordon was a senator from 2004 to 2010, then returned to the Senate in 2016.
Napoles has been convicted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan in the misuse of the PDAF of certain lawmakers.
Gordon on Friday last week hit back at Duterte for defending individuals being linked to the allegedly overpriced medical supplies bought by the government last year, calling him a "cheap politician."
"You are a cheap politician. . . as cheap as they come, Mr. President," Gordon said in his opening statement during the continuation of the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the alleged irregularity.
The senator, as chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, is leading the probe into the government's procurement of allegedly overpriced medical supplies. —with a report from Hana Bordey/KG, GMA News