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Duterte asks SolGen to tell COA to collect P140 million from Gordon

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered the Office of the Solicitor General to tell the Commission on Audit (COA) to collect P140 million in government funds from Senator Richard Gordon, stemming from the senator's time as chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

At Monday's Talk to the People briefing, Duterte again criticized Gordon amid the latter's Senate committee probe into government contracts for allegedly overpriced COVID-19 supplies.

Duterte said that COA had issued a notice of disallowance for P140 million in funds to the SBMA from the time when Gordon served as its chairman from 1992 to 1998. 

"I am now asking the Solicitor General to formally ask COA to act on this disallowance to remind it of the constitutional duty to collect the P140 million as stated in the demand letter of SBMA chairperson dated August this year," Duterte said.

"This has been duly sustained by Supreme Court as final and executory," he added.

Duterte earlier also accused Gordon of "personally" taking P86 million from the P140 million. "Isauli mo...kindly settle, or not, I will personally see to it that a case will be filed against you," he said last week.

On Monday, Duterte claimed Gordon's supposed failure to act on the disallowance is already a case of malversation.

"Ngayon, hindi mo pa na bayaran. Ang dapat diyan ang case sa COA. Kapag 'di mo nabayaran within the period demanded of you then it becomes your personal liability and the case goes to Ombudsman. Ang tawag diyan malversation," he added.

Dutete also asked Gordon for updates from this case, which he said has been ongoing since 2016.

"It has been years, yung notice of disallowance of COA over misuse of funds of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority during Gordon's time as chairman which amounts to P140 million pala," he said. — BM, GMA News