Sotto: does not prevent Blue Ribbon from investigating alleged embezzlement of government funds for COVID-19

BACOLOD CITY –– Senate President Vicente Sotto III has said nothing is preventing the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee from hearing about the government’s alleged embezzlement in the fight against COVID-19.

The Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Senator Richard Gordon, he said, is expected to report in October or September.

“Any investigation until the truth is revealed will not harm the nation,” Sotto said at a press conference Thursday with Senator Panfilo Lacson at The Ruins in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.

“I do not see why we should stop the investigation in the Senate when we know very well that we cannot see how the money is spent,” Sotto said.

Lacson expressed his dismay at the “sorry state of our country today”.

“In the midst of a pandemic, some people still have the courage to make so much money. Our priority should be to meet the needs of our people, ”said Lacson, who earlier announced his intention to run for president next year.

President Duterte has banned Cabinet officials from attending Blue Ribbon Committee hearings without his approval.

He also appointed Solicitor General Jose Calida to audit the finances of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) headed by Gordon.

Lacson, however, said the COA could not audit the PRC because it is not a government entity.

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