Duterte on barring Cabinet from Senate probe: Bring complaint to Supreme Court

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2021 11:31 PM | Updated as of Oct 07 2021 01:54 AM

MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday dared the Senate to file a complaint at the Supreme Court against his order to prohibit members of the Cabinet from attending Senate investigations.

Duterte on Monday said he has issued a memorandum to prohibit the members of his Cabinet from attending the Senate investigation as resource persons, claiming that they do not have the time for it.

"That's why I want them to go to the Supreme Court. Gusto kong makita ng footage ng behavior nila during...I want it recorded in history. It's a...'Yung pangyayari sa Senate, and how they behave badly," he said in a taped speech. 

(That's why I want them to go to the Supreme Court. I want to see the footage of their behavior...I want it recorded in history. It's a...what's happening in the Senate, and how they behave badly.)

"Gusto kong dalhin nila sa Korte Suprema so itong ano nila, pinapa-withdraw nila 'yung order ko," Duterte added.

(I want then to go to the Supreme Court to ask for the withdrawal of my order.)

Duterte also said he will not withdraw his memo and claimed the Senate started the mess.

"There ain't no way that I will withdraw it...Kayo ang nag-umpisa nitong lahat (You started everything)," he said.

Duterte's order will also affect the resolve of civil servants, which is why there could be a Constitutional crisis, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said on Tuesday night. 

The IBP has called on Duterte to heed a Supreme Court decision which said that although the Executive and the Legislative are co-equal branches of government, the former "cannot frustrate the power of Congress to legislate by refusing to comply with its demands for information."

Duterte last week also ordered the country's police and military to "stay out" of the Senate probe into Pharmally. 

Duterte's latest directive is part of an ongoing conflict with Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair Richard Gordon, who launched an investigation into Pharmally's transactions with government, Gordon said he does not know why Duterte still defends former economic adviser Michael Yang and former budget undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao, a fraternity brother.

Duterte has denied allegations of corruption, even saying he doesn't care what happens to Pharmally, as long as his men do not get involved in it.

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