MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon said Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte should spare him a lecture about character as it is the latter who has “abused his power.”
Gordon made the remark after Duterte hit the senator’s “shouting” toward the resource speakers invited at the Senate Blue Ribbon committee’s investigation on the alleged irregularities in the national government’s pandemic spending.
Duterte said Gordon has to be courteous if he wants to be treated with courtesy. However, the senator clapped back, saying he does not need to be lectured on character by “someone who hardly knows what it means.”
“So spare me a lecture about character, especially from someone who hardly knows what it means,” Gordon said in a statement in response to Duterte’s comments.
“If it is arrogance of power the President is so concerned about, our people know too well who between us has abused his power and has enabled massive corruption to permeate in our government,” he added.
Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, said that whenever he raises his voice “to people who shamelessly lie or hide the truth,” it was an outrage at “how the government was swindled by a gang of rich kids in cahoots with greedy public officials.”
“When I raise my voice to people who blatantly curse my God and disrespect our women, I am enraged at how these disparaging insults are going on unchecked and unchallenged at the expense of our faith and our sense of humanity,” Gordon said.
“Yes, I raise my voice because our people, especially our healthcare workers and essential front-liners, are suffering for long, losing their jobs and livelihood, getting sick, and their loved ones are dying due to government’s neglect and inaction,” he added.
During Monday’s Talk to the People briefing, Duterte hit Gordon anew, particularly on the senator “shouting” at resource speakers invited to the hearings.
“Ito dapat si Gordon maglipat siya sa judiciary. Doon siya magsigaw-sigaw baka sa awa ng sheriff pa ang babaril sa kanya. Hindi ‘yang ugali na ‘yan,” Duterte said.
(Gordon should transfer to the judiciary. He should scream there and by mercy the sheriff himself will shoot him. His personality should not be like that.)
“This is not feudal times. You have to be courteous. If you want to be treated with courtesy, you have to practice it,” the President added.
Duterte earlier barred executive officials from attending the Senate hearing—a move that the upper chamber reportedly plans to challenge before the Supreme Court.
While Duterte welcomes the move, he said he will defend the order and is eager to face the Senate’s legal challenge.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.