Duterte’s order to exclude Cabinet members from Senate investigation bears ‘traces of martial law’, — 1Sambayan – Manila Bulletin

Opposition 1Sambayan coalition sees ‘traces of dark days of martial law’ in President Duterte’s latest order barring Cabinet members and other executives from attending Senate inquiry into abnormal dealings of several billions that the government concluded with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Inc. for too high prices. medical material.

In a statement, the 24 organizers of 1Sambayan denounced the statement as showing “signs of a return to authoritarian Marcosian tactics”.

1Sambayan (Photo courtesy of Neri Colmenares)

“We see traces of the dark days of martial law in the President’s recent statements: no respect for the rule of law, no separation of powers between branches of government and no regard for due process, all to protect the interest of a private company, its Chinese friends and their friends in the government,” the organizers said.

“This is the same authoritarian, dictatorial, authoritarian despotic regime employed by the late President Ferdinand Marcos,” they noted.

1Sambayan called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) “to remain loyal to the country and the people, and to ignore this illegal and unconstitutional order, even if it came from their commander-in-chief, who certainly does not act as the father of a nation.

READ: Duterte to block Cabinet members from appearing in Senate probe

“It’s an abuse of his powers as commander-in-chief, and it doesn’t give him carte blanche to use it to prevent other government agencies from carrying out their mandates,” the group said.

The call came after the president, in a public address, urged the police and military not to arrest anyone ignoring Senate subpoenas in his investigation into allegedly overpriced medical supplies purchased by the government, specifically the Department of Budget and Management – Procurement Service (DBM-PS), of Pharmally, a newly created company that has won at least 10 billion pesos in government contracts.

Duterte had ordered Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to prepare the appropriate broadcast to bar Cabinet officials from attending the investigation led by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, chaired by Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon.

The chief executive said he issued the order because Gordon had used his powers “recklessly”.

READ: Senate heeds Duterte decision; Cabinet members who snub hearings will not be arrested

1Sambayan called on the public “to end this regime, to be ever vigilant and alert”, adding that the Duterte administration has shown traces of the Marcos dictatorship through the ABS-CBN shutdown, corruption and widespread corruption, economic recession, and thousands of extrajudicial executions and human rights violations.

“We also encourage everyone, especially those who will vote in May 2022, to unite in choosing leaders who will put the people above their own interests and those of their friends, who will restore democracy and strengthen our institutions. democratic nations, and which will lead our country to recover from this pandemic and economic decline,” the statement read.

1Sambayan on Thursday, September 30, endorsed Vice President Leni Robredo for the presidency, saying she was the right person to steer the country away from the threat of another Duterte or Marcos coming to power.

The vice president said earlier that she would be ready to face former senator Bongbong Marcos, the dictator’s only son, again in the electoral race after beating him in the 2016 vice presidential elections.

Although still undecided whether to run for president, Robredo maintained that her goal was to prevent the Marcos from returning.

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Norman D. Briggs