Press Release
August 23, 2021


Senator Richard J. Gordon, Chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee, has signed a Subpoena Ad Testificandum, approved by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, requiring the attendance of former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Lloyd Cristopher Lao to the next hearing of the Committee on Wednesday, August 25, into the 2020 Commission on Audit (COA) report on the Department of Health (DOH).

Lao, who resigned last June, was head of the Procurement Service of the DBM at the time when bulk purchases of masks and face shields were undertaken by the government due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"He will be asked to explain the circumstances of such procurement. It is important that he appears because there are so many questions that need answers especially, he was previously investigated over procurement of overpriced medical supplies and equipment as Usec. Canda said," Gordon stated.

In a press briefing, Lao said he is willing to attend the hearing next week "to shed light on the matter", adding that the most appropriate avenue is the Blue Ribbon Committee.

"Mr. Lao is still in the Philippines, or at least, has not left the country, as certified by the Bureau of Immigration. This is a good sign that can only mean to indicate that he is not fleeing and can help us in our investigation in bringing light to the seemingly murky processes of government procurement," said Gordon.

A subpoena ad testificandum compels the person so summoned to appear before it to answer questions regarding the matter being heard and discussed. Refusal or failure to appear can be subject to a contempt citation, which the Committee of the Senate has previously, and on occasion, imposed.

In order to ensure that the subpoena is served, the Blue Ribbon sought the assistance of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

News Latest News Feed