SENATOR Richard Gordon on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, defended the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) against President Rodrigo Duterte’s accusations that it produces “false positive” coronavirus disease (Covid-19) Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test results.
Gordon said they are open for an investigation as ordered by Duterte to the Department of Health (DOH).
“Alam po ba ninyo na nag-order kami ng re-run noon? Without you telling us? Automatic yan ang dami nila eh 40 sa isang hospital galing sa isang hospital na pwedeng magkaroon ng Covid...kaya nung nagpa-examine sila, 40 yon lumabas sila ay positive at ni-recheck namin yan at nafound out na positive,” the senator said during the resumption of Senate probe into irregularities in the use of Covid-19 funds of the DOH as noted by the Commission on Audit (COA).
(Do you know that we ordered for a re-run? That’s automatic, without you telling us because there were 40 of them from one hospital. So when they asked to be examined, 40 came out positive for the virus and we re-checked and found out that they were really positive.)
“Tapos ngayon sasabihin ng mga alipores ni Attorney Duterte na itong raw ay mali, ngayon pinapaimbestigahan kami (And now, these blind followers of Atty. Duterte are saying that this is wrong, and they want us investigated). We are open sir, we report all the testing to the Department of Health and the RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine). Lahat ng positive nire-report namin (We report all the positive results),” he added.
On Monday evening, September 20, Duterte ordered the DOH to investigate reports about the false positive results in Covid-19 test facilitated by the PRC.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque agreed with Gordon and answered in affirmative when the senator asked him if the PRC is a big help to the government, particularly in the conduct of Covid-related efforts such as in vaccination and Covid-19 testing nationwide without asking funds from the government.
Gordon noted the PRC’s initiative to conduct RT-PCR testing among doctors and nurses exposed to Covid-19 in Manila to ensure they will not be the cause of spread.
He said the volunteers and personnel of PRC were working tirelessly and it is unfair for them to receive bashing from Duterte.
Gordon said Duterte should attack him alone instead.
“Saktan ninyo na ako. Akala ninyo ba matatakot ninyo ako? Pinatay ang tatay, pinahirapan ang tatay ko. Ginagranada, inaabangan. You think matatakot ako sa isang nilalang? Takot ako sa Diyos. Takot ako sa tao pero hindi ako duwag, Mr. President,” Gordon said.
(Attack me. Do you think I’m afraid? My father was killed, tortured. Do you think I’ll be scared? I fear God. I fear human beings, but I’m not a coward.)
“You’re a bully. And I’m sorry, Mr. President, but the Filipino people can fight back against bullies. Filipinos can have a revolution against bullies,” he added.
On his Twitter account, Gordon also hit Duterte, whom he said is busy politicking when a number of Filipinos are dying due to Covid-19.
“You have deprived the Filipino people, Mr. President. Sunod-sunod ang namamatay pero abala ka sa pamumulitika. Bakit niyo inaaway ang mga taong ginagawa lang ang trabaho? Ayaw niyo ng korapsyon, hindi po ba?” Gordon said.
“Mr. President, you are boring. Do your worse as you did with the ABS-CBN. Do your worse like what you did to an elected senator. I won’t waste my time on you because I have no more respect for you. Halatang-halata na namemersonal nalang kayo,” he added.
Duterte has been attacking Gordon, the chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, which is conducting investigation on the spending deficiencies of DOH in relation to the Covid-19 budget that implicates the administration to corruption allegations. (With LMY/SunStar Philippines)