Duterte threatens to file case against Gordon for alleged malversation of ₱86-M fund

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 23) — President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to file a case against Senator Richard Gordon for allegedly failing to settle misused public funds when the lawmaker was the chairperson of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

In his public address aired Wednesday night, the President said the Commission on Audit issued a notice of disallowance for ₱140 million to SBMA under Gordon’s leadership, but the senator allegedly pocketed ₱86 million.

“I would like to inquire from the Ombudsman if there is a case filed against you because lahat na na-disallow (everything was disallowed) and the money was not returned. The money was not used in the right way. It deduces into something like a personal liability,” Duterte said.

“Kindly settle or [else] I will personally see to it that a case will be filed against you,” he added. “It’s malversation, the crime is malversation.”

Duterte also urged Gordon to choose between being a senator or chairman of the Philippine Red Cross.

“You are a dual personality which is banned or prohibited by law…. Bawal 'yan, actually... Bitawan mo na 'yan kasi (That is not allowed. Let go of it because) I will insist that you give up one because you cannot be both,” the President said.

Gordon is the chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that has been investigating the Duterte administration’s purchase of medical supplies for pandemic response.