Home Economy Padilla defends 2020 fund transfer

Padilla defends 2020 fund transfer

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SENATOR Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla said on Sunday that former president Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order to transfer P47.6 billion to the Department of Budget and Management’s procurement service to buy coronavirus supplies in 2020 was above board.

Last week, former Department of Health (DoH) secretary Francisco T. Duque, III told a congressional hearing that the former president gave the order. Mr. Duque and a former Budget official are now facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman over the unusual fund transfer.

In a statement, Mr. Padilla, a close ally of Mr. Duterte, said that the decision by the former chief executive was warranted by emergency powers vested in him at the time because the country was in a state of calamity.

Under Section 4 of the law, the Philippine President is authorized to order the procurement of medical supplies to address the COVID-19 health emergency, he pointed out.

“Other countries whose governments spent much to beat the pandemic. Many, like us, had to borrow funds for this purpose.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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