MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday lashed out at senators anew, specifically Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon, accusing him of going on a witch hunt for political gain.
In a fresh batch of tirades against Gordon, Duterte reiterated his accusation that Gordon is using his position for political gain.
"Sabihin mo kung ano ang kulang para malaman namin. Ngayon kung mayroon kang nakita, ilabas mo na para malaman namin kung ano 'yan. And because you cannot find any overpricing, or it's because a witch hunt, a fishing expedition, or a political circus. Na kunwari sa panahon na ito, ikaw ang graft buster. Ikaw ang naghahanap ng katiwalian sa gobyerno," he said in a recorded public address.
(Tell us what's lacking so we know. Now if you see something, show it to us so we'll know. And because you cannot find any overpricing, or it's because a witch hunt, a fishing expedition, or a political circus. You are acting like a graft buster. You're looking for corruption in government.)
"Is the ongoing inquiry truly in aid of legislation, or is it for political purposes? The simple fact is that the Blue Ribbon Committee has failed to produce anything to prove its accusation of corruption," Duterte added.
Duterte has been lambasting Gordon in public speeches after the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee began grilling former Presidential economic adviser Michael Yang and former Budget Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao, the president's former election lawyer, over allegedly shady deals involving state funds.
Yang and Lao are among those being linked to the allegedly anomalous procurement of overpriced pandemic supplies.
The President has said he would actively campaign against Gordon, and called for the senator's resignation as head of the Philippine Red Cross.
Duterte also called Gordon a "despot", repeatedly mocked the senator for being fat, and threatened that he would let a vampire suck the blood out of the lawmaker.
Gordon on Friday castigated Duterte for defending officials allegedly involved in the anomalous procurement of COVID-19 pandemic supplies, saying he is "not a president the Filipino people can respect".