Senate to tap NBI, immigration bureau to locate Pharmally execs: Drilon


Posted at Aug 28 2021 10:46 PM

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MANILA—Senator Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Saturday said the help of the National Bureau of investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration will be sought to locate the officials of a corporation that allegedly received billions worth of contracts with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the procurement of face masks and RT-PCR test kits last year.

“Ipapahanap namin ulit kung nasaan na. Humihingi kami sa NBI, hanapin itong mga opisyales ng Pharmally kung nandito pa dahil baka wala na. Iyan ay iche-check pa namin sa Bureau of Immigration ang kanilang departure record baka nagsialisan na,” Drilon said in an interview on TeleRadyo.

(We will try to locate them again. We are asking the NBI to look for the officials of Pharmally, if they are still here, they may not be here anymore. We will check with the Bureau of Immigration for their departure record if they already left.)

Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. won P8.6 billion in government contracts for the procurement of face masks and RT-PCR test kits last year even if it was only incorporated in 2019, the Senate Blue Ribbon committee found.

The Senate tried to serve a subpoena to Pharmally officials living in a high-end condominium in Taguig but security staff said the units indicated in the company’s general information sheet have been vacant since 2018.

“Iyong mga CEO nila, treasurer, presidente hindi na po makita namin. Of course, baka lumipat lang. Ang aming sheriff hindi na po makita yung mga address na nakalagay sa kanilang official documents,” he said.

(We cannot find their CEO, treasurer, and president. Of course, maybe they just moved. Our sheriff has not able to find them in the address stated in official documents.)

Drilon urged officials of the company to voluntarily face the Senate to explain their side.

Christopher Lloyd Lao, former chief of the procurement service of the DBM, said during a hearing that under his leadership last year it “failed to check on the articles of incorporation” of the company in question.

“Kahapon doon sa hearing, inamin ni Undersecretary Lao that in effect, he was negligent, that he did not exercise prudence. ’Yun ang sinabi niya na negligent siya. Hindi niya tiningnan ang articles of incorporation na anim na buwan pa lang itong Pharmally, walang track record, walang income. Bakit naman binigyan mo ng bilyon-bilyong kontrata?” Drilon said.

(In the hearing yesterday, Undersecretary Lao acknowledged that in effect he was negligent, that he did not exercise prudence. That's what he said, he was negligent, he did not check on the articles of incorporation, that Pharmally was just 6 months old, has no track record, no income. Why give them contracts amounting to billions?)

Drilon urged the Blue Ribbon Committee to recommend the filing of anti-graft charges against Lao “for entering in contracts which, are grossly prejudicial to the interest of government.”

Drilon said another hearing is set for September 7.


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