Congressional inquiries delay the implementation of important government programs, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Thursday, asking lawmakers to stop investigating ongoing government projects.
President Duterte’s statement came in the midst of the series of investigation by the Senate on the administration’s handling of government funds appropriated for COVID-19 response.
“Kayong mga lahat sa Senate — do not investigate programs which are ongoing,” the President said during his public address on pandemic response.
“You will derail it, you will delay it by your incessant penchant for investigating government offices. Gusto ninyo lahat pakialaman na lang.”
The President argued that although lawmakers have oversight function, the legislative branch does not have the monopoly of running the government through its inquiries.
He then questioned the Senate’s inquiry of the Department of Health’s (DOH) pandemic response despite having no clear indication of the funds being speculated.
“If the money is there, it is unspent, nobody is stealing it, it is there, and the department has so many programs,” he said.
At the same time, the President expressed concern that the legislators may widen their investigation to include other departments such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the task force headed by vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
“Pinapakialaman ninyo si Secretary Galvez eh. You’re trying to muddle up everything by questioning every time how or why he spent the money,” he said.
“The guy is simply trying to even explain to you in every opportunity whether it be it’s a program of government or whether it is really a forum sponsored by government such as this.”
Dismayed by the ongoing inquiry, President Duterte hopes that someday members of Congress face similar questioning regarding their conduct.
Some lawmakers also committed misdeeds, he said, adding “you are the one making a noise, a noise that is just really a noise for no purpose at all but to create a noise.” PND