By Deighton Acuin


There was “no corruption” involved in the COVID-19 supplies procurement of the government, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated Wednesday morning.

In a taped briefing aired on September 8, Duterte made the statement in response to the ongoing legislative investigations looking into the supposed irregularities of purchasing face masks, face shields, and other protective gears against the disease.

“Ako mismo, I would like to disabuse the minds of the detractors of government. Walang nangyaring corruption, sa mga procurement ng gobyerno,” he said.

He also took defense on the Department of Health (DOH) amid the probes, calling them “not to dictate Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to craft programs and initiatives in the agency.”

“At the end of the day, kung palpak ang trabaho niya then that is the time for reckoning. But not before completing the programs of his department in pursuance to his work as Secretary,” Duterte added.

In his address dated September 3, the President said face masks and other equipment were procured below the Suggested Retail Price (SRP), adding it is “inaccurate to compare the price at the onset of the pandemic and to when the supplies stabilize.”

The chief executive has been defensive in his agencies, from urging them to snub congressional inquiries if lawmakers become “rude to them'' to body shaming Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Senator Richard Gordon.