Sotto: Pharmally execs Dargani, Ong to be freed June 3

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2022 07:49 PM

Bureau of Jail Management and Penology officers transport Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executives Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong on December 3, 2021. Senate PRIB handout/file
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology officers transport Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executives Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong on December 3, 2021. Senate PRIB handout/file

Detained executives of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. will be freed from Senate custody on June 3, 2022, in time for the sine die adjournment of Senate, according to Senate President Tito Sotto.

"June 3," Sotto said in a message to reporters when asked about the date of release of Pharmally executives Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong.

Dargani and Ong are currently detained in the Pasay City Jail after refusing to hand over documents related to the Senate investigation on government's alleged misuse of pandemic-related funds.

Their lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, thanked Sotto for his announcement, while insisting on his clients' innocence.

"It is our fervent prayer that notwithstanding the release of the our clients, the Supreme Court resolve our two pending petitions before it in a manner that will further limit the scope of the powers of the Legislature, by striking a happy balance between preserving its prerogatives as a lawmaking body, and ensuring that the exercise of such will not outrun the bounds of reason and result in sheer oppression," Topacio said.

Last year, Ong asked the Supreme Court to nullify a Senate contempt order that led to his detention over his refusal to cooperate in the probe on the allegedly overpriced and anomalous pandemic deals.

In April, Dargani filed a complaint before the Supreme Court against a Court of Appeals justice for allegedly sitting on his bid to be released - a claim CA Associate Justice Apolinario Bruselas, Jr. refuted.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has recommended the filing of charges against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and other Pharmally officials, including Dargani and Ong.

Dargani's sister Twinkle had also been detained in the Senate but was later released on humanitarian considerations.