MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered the military and police not to arrest anyone ignoring the Senate’s subpoenas in its inquiry into the government’s purchase of allegedly overpriced medical supplies for the COVID-19.
Duterte earlier announced that he will formally bar Cabinet members from attending the Senate probe to focus on the pandemic response.
“As commander-in-chief of all uniformed personnel and government I am ordering the police and the military to stay out of this trouble,” said Duterte
“Huwag kayong sumali, huwag kayong sumunod kasi may krisis na tayo,” he added.
(Do not get involved, because we already have a crisis.)
Duterte said he issued the order because Sen. Richard Gordon has been using his powers in a “reckless manner,” adding that he has “gone out of bounds amounting to lack of jurisdiction.”
“He (Gorden) will order the [Senate] sergeant-at-arms to arrest the persons refusing to heed your summon subpoena,” Duterte said.
“So sabihin ko sa sergeant-at-arms ngayon, do not attempt to arrest anybody, kasi ikaw ang arestuhin ko,” he added.
(So I will tell sergeant-at-arms now, don’t attempt to arrest anybody, or I will have you arrested.)
“Magorder ka ng sergeant-at-arms mo? Sino man kasama niyan? Isa lang man ‘yan (You will order your sergeant-at-arms? Who will eb with them?), so you will order the police. So I’m ordering the police not to obey you, you may resort to using the military, ang sabihin ko sa military stay out, my order is to stay put,” Duterte said.
“Huwag kayong sumunod sa order ni Gordon kasi he is now treading on dangerous grounds. Itong kaniyang hearing is an exercise of grave abuse of discretion amounting to [an] already lack of jurisdiction,” he added.
(Don’t follow Gordon’s order because he is now treading on dangerous grounds. This hearing is an exercise of grave abuse of discretion amounting to [an] already lack of jurisdiction.)
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