PRESIDENT Duterte said he will ban members of Cabinet from attending the Senate inquiry into medical supplier Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation over the alleged “abuse of discretion” by Senator Richard Gordon, whom he accused of prolonging the hearings to gain media mileage.

During his public address late Thursday, Duterte said he will issue a memorandum ordering Cabinet members to ignore the summons of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee headed by Gordon. 

In his opening remarks at the tenth Blue Ribbon hearing on Thursday, Gordon said the probe on Pharmally and allegedly anomalous negotiated contracts for medical supplies with the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) will go on “to kingdom come.” 

Duterte condemned Gordon’s statement as an “abuse of discretion bordering on lack of jurisdiction” especially since it is distracting key members of the Cabinet, who are handling the government’s novel coronavirus disease response (Covid-19). 

“This is not an acceptable statement in a democracy. We are run by laws and rules and you cannot do that,” Duterte said. 

He said he will order the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) not to cooperate with the Senate if it will threaten to hold in contempt members of the Cabinet who ignore its summons related to the Pharmally probe. 

“Never mind Gordon. He is nothing,” Duterte said. 

According to the President, the “brewing constitutional crisis” caused by opposing positions from the executive and legislative branch of the government was caused by Gordon’s “overstepping his jurisdiction.”  

“I am sorry if it has gone this way.  I do not want it. It is the last thing I wanted to do. To quarrel with a separate body [of the government],” Duterte said.

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