Inciting to sedition? Duterte tells Gordon: Do your worst, I'll do mine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 16 2021 03:28 PM

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"Do your worst, and I’ll do mine." 

President Rodrigo Duterte issued this threat to Sen. Richard Gordon should he pursue a case of inciting to sedition against the Chief Executive. 

"Idemanda mo ako ng sedition at idemanda rin kita. Ako mismo ang maghuli sa ‘yo," Duterte said, addressing Gordon in a taped meeting with officials that aired on Thursday. 

(If you file a sedition case against me, I will sue you, too. I will apprehend you myself.)

Gordon, who heads a Senate committee investigating allegedly overpriced government procurement deals for pandemic supplies, had earlier said attacking the Senate and the Commission on Audit is "practically inciting to sedition."

This came after Duterte's repeated belligerent language against senators investigating the deals, particularly one with Chinese-led Pharmally, and COA, which he has rebuffed for saying it had no jurisdiction to audit the Philippine Red Cross contrary to his wishes. 

Gordon is chair of the Red Cross, a humanitarian organization which has undertaken a bulk of COVID-19 tests in the country. 

While the lawmaker did not name Duterte, the President recently told Cabinet officials to snub the COA after its report on "deficiencies" in the health department's use of P67 billion in funds meant to address the COVID-19 crisis.

He also accused the Senate of politicking in its probe of the government's pandemic transactions. Gordon is leading the inquiry as chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee. 

"Who are you, Gordon? You are nothing but a corrupt official," Duterte said during the meeting, without presenting proof. 

"We will reach a point na ipapa-audit ko ka talaga (that I will have you audited). I will force the issue," he added. 

Duterte's remarks are "designed to lose our (Senate) focus," Gordon said. 

"We are totally focused. Evidence is very overwhelming and strong," he told reporters.