Gordon, chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee, told journalists that an emissary relayed the request of the Rodriguez family whose members reportedly brought in a total of $283 million in cash into the country since July 2019 not to summon them to the panel inquiry tomorrow.
STAR/Geremy Pintolo/ File
Gordon bares P20 million bribery try to stop laundering probe
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 11, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Richard Gordon disclosed yesterday that he was offered P20 million in exchange for not summoning a family to a Senate inquiry on the alleged money laundering scheme.

The family was tagged in bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in cash into the country in the past months.

Gordon, chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee, told journalists that an emissary relayed the request of the Rodriguez family whose members reportedly brought in a total of $283 million in cash into the country since July 2019 not to summon them to the panel inquiry tomorrow.

“What was relayed (by the emissary) was ‘can you tell him not to summon us anymore and something good will happen’,” Gordon told journalists in Filipino. 

“I’m not bragging but I’m chagrined. These people have the gall to believe that anyone can be bought,” he said, adding the emissary – whom he did not identify – also said the family offered to donate P5 million to the Philippine Red Cross, which he heads.

Gordon showed photos of the $500,000 cash brought by a Singaporean at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 yesterday morning.

The foreigner reportedly told officials of the Bureau of Customs based at the airport that the cash was for business purposes.

Later in the day, the committee issued subpoenas to John Joshua Rodriguez and Elizabeth Rodriguez, requiring them to appear at the hearing or they would be cited for contempt.

It was not yet known if other members of the family were also summoned.

Gordon earlier said six members of the family brought in the cash in suitcases and boxes.

Senators have expressed suspicion that cash amounting to $633 million is connected to the proliferation of Chinese-led Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).

Gordon lamented that President Duterte appears to have been misled by some officials after he declared on Monday night that the POGOs would remain in the country because of the revenues they bring in.

RICHARD GORDON
Philstar
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