Press Release
September 15, 2021

De Lima slams Duterte's gag order on Cabinet members

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima is not surprised with Duterte's effort to prevent the unraveling of the truth about any irregularities in his administration by requiring his clearance before his Cabinet members attend Senate hearings, which is effectively a gag order.

De Lima said Duterte's gag order relative to Cabinet members' attendance at the ongoing Senate Blue-Ribbon Committee probe on the alleged corruption in his administration's pandemic response is not even based on executive privilege, "but presidential hubris."

"Duterte's gag order on Sec. Duque and other Cabinet members, preventing them from attending the Blue-Ribbon Committee hearing is expected. It was only a matter of time before Duterte resorted to an illegal action to prevent the unraveling of the truth in the Senate hearing," she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1148.

"Duterte will continue to push the government to a constitutional crisis, if only to save the Davao boys in their 8.7 billion plunder, the details of which are slowly uncovered in the Senate hearing," she added.

Duterte on Tuesday reportedly said he will require Cabinet members to secure his clearance first before they could attend Senate inquiries. His statement came as the Senate continues to investigate the purchase of allegedly overpriced medical supplies in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year and the link of his former economic adviser Michael Yang to anomalous contracts.

The President further said that he will "limit" what the Senate can do over the Executive Department since he has the hand over it.

De Lima stressed that nobody listens to Duterte anymore, except his fanatics, while the whole nation is glued to the Senate hearings as anomaly after anomaly is revealed by resource persons.

"Buking na si Michael Yang, ang Chinese BFF ni Duterte at ng Davao Mafia. It is just a matter of time before he brings down everybody with him, including his patron and benefactor Duterte," she said.

"Andami pa kasing satsat, mandarambong lang rin pala, at sa panahon pa ng pandemya. Super kawalanghiyaan!" she added.

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