MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday continued his attack against Senator Richard Gordon, this time threatening to file malversation charges against the senator for allegedly misused funds while he was still the chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
Duterte, who has spent a bulk of his recent public addresses to attack Gordon, alleged that the senator has yet to return around P140 million which had been flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) during Gordon's stint as SBMA chairman.
He also accused Gordon of pocketing P86 million of his previous Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) given to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
"So I would like to inquire from the Ombudsman if there is a case filed against you because lahat na disallow and the money was not returned. The money was not used in the right way, it deduces into something na personal liability mo," Duterte said in a taped speech aired late Wednesday.
"Kindly settle, or not, I will personally see to it that a case would be filed against you," he added.
Gordon served as the chairman of SBMA from 1992 to 1998.
Duterte also urged Gordon to give up one of his positions, claiming that it is illegal for him to be both a senator and the chairman of the PRC at the same time.
"Do not say that Red Cross and ikaw ay (you are) separate identity. That's bullsh*t. You are a dual personality that is banned or prohibited by law. Dapat noon pa dinemanda ka na. Wala lang naglakas ng loob (You should have been sued long ago. It's just that nobody was brave enough)," he said.
"Bawal 'yan, actually. Bawal. Bitawan mo na 'yan because I will insist that you give up one because you cannot be both," Duterte added.
(That is prohibited. Prohibited. Give that up because I will insist that you give up one because you cannot be both.)
This is the second time this week that Duterte mentioned Gordon and the PRC in his late-night "Talk to the Nation".
On Monday, Duterte insisted on having the COA look at the finances of the PRC.
He also alleged that the PRC erred multiple times in conducting COVID-19 tests in the country.
COA chairman Michael Aguinaldo has said state auditors have no jurisdiction over the humanitarian organization as it is not a government agency. The PRC board of governors, in a statement, has also said it does not receive any funds from the government.
Duterte has been lashing out at 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.
Gordon has yet to issue a statement regarding Duterte's latest allegations, as of posting.