Duterte admits he ordered Duque to skip bidding on PPE purchase

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday admitted he was the one who ordered Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to skirt from the bidding process in the procurement of protective personal equipment (PPE) during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ako ang nag-utos kay Duque. Noong nandito kami, ginanun ko ‘I want it done immediately’ sabi ko sa kanya it’s not a month, it’s one day, two days ka lang.’ Ako ang nagsabi sa kaniya ‘I am sure there is a law which would exempt you from bidding.’ Madalian ito, pandemic eh,” Duterte said in his public address aired Tuesday morning.

(I was the one who ordered Duque. When we were here, I told him “I want it done immediately.” I told him it should only take one or two days. I was the one who told him “I am sure there is a law which would exempt you from bidding.” This is a pandemic so we had to act immediately.)

“Ako ang nag-utos, ako ipakulong nila,” he added.

(I was the one who ordered it. Let them jail me.)

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