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Gordon denies he was a Duterte supporter

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Senator Richard Gordon on Tuesday denied that he was a supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte.

He made the remark in an ANC interview when asked about perceptions of him being allied to the administration as he was not exactly tagged as an opposition lawmaker.

In 2016, Gordon said he voted for his colleague, Senator Grace Poe, when she ran for president.

“No [I did not support Duterte]. I voted for Grace Poe, excuse me. I have always been open about that I am no hypocrite,” Gordon said.

“I’m a lawyer, he is a friend. Kapag tinawag ka ng presidente, pupunta ka pero wala akong hinihingi sa kanya (If the president calls you, you will accept his invitation but I did not ask anything from him),” he added.

He noted that criticisms about him being pro-administration started when he led the Senate hearings on extrajudicial killings which were linked to Duterte’s drug war.

“Pagdating sa investigation…alam mo pinapalabas pa ng mga kasama ng kabila na ako raw ay kumampi kay Presidente,” Gordon said.

(During the investigation...some of the opposition members claimed that I sided with the President.)

“I cannot come out kung hahanapan ng tattoo ‘yung tao, hindi ebidensya ang tattoo e. Papahubarin mo ang anak niya, sasabihin convicted ka dahil ikaw triad ka. Walang ebidensya ‘yon e,” he explained, referring to presidential son Paolo Duterte who was accused by former senator Antonio Trillanes IV of being a member of the triad, a Chinese organized crime group.

(I cannot come out. If we will look for a person's tattoo, it will not stand as evidence. You will ask his son to remove his shirt and tell the public that he is convicted because he is part of the alleged triad even though there's no evidence to support that.)

To recall, Trillanes dared Paolo to show the tattoo—allegedly the mark of a triad member—on his back but the latter refused to grant the request.

Gordon further aired his frustrations against Trillanes and Senator Leila de Lima during the previous Senate hearing on EJKs.

“Ang problema ko, tinawag ko ‘yung Davao Death Squad na sinasabi. Pinagha-harap ko sila noong gabi, [pero] nu’ng tawagin ko na si [Edgar] Matobato para magharap, tinakbo eh. Doon ako nagkaroon ng lungkot kay Senator De Lima at kay Senator Trillanes. Bakit mo tinakbo nagi-imbestiga tayo dito,” he said.

(My problem back then was when I called on what they call the Davao Death Squad, I wanted to confront them during the hearing but when I asked for Matobato, he left the Senate premises. That's when I was saddened by what Senator De Lima and Senator Trillanes did. Why did you let him leave when we are still investigating?)

“Tapos sasabihin ninyo maka-Duterte ako (Then you will claim that I am pro-Duterte)? No way, no way,” he stressed.

Gordon, De Lima, and Trillanes are all included in the senatorial ticket of Vice President and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo for the May 2022 polls.

Gordon and Duterte engaged in a word war as the Senate continues to probe the transfer of P42 billion COVID-19 funds from the Department of Health to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

This includes PS-DBM’s purchase of P8.6 billion worth of face masks, face shields, and PPEs from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, a firm that only had a P625,000 paid-up capital when it entered transactions with the government.—AOL, GMA News

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