MANILA—Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday called for a special audit on the multibillion-peso deals between the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.
The senator said the regular annual audit conducted by the Commission on Audit may not be sufficient to establish overpricing of the government's purchase of COVID-19 medical supplies from the controversial firm.
"Unang-una, hinihingi ko sa COA na magkaroon ng sinasabi nating fraud audit dahil may nakikita tayong pandaraya na ginawa sa PS-DBM," he told Teleradyo.
(First, I am asking COA to conduct fraud audit because we saw there's anomaly done in PS-DBM.)
Drilon said the Ombudsman could also conduct a fact-finding investigation on the allegedly anomalous deals.
"Puwede na ring tingnan yung nakuha naming ebidensiya sa [Senate] Blue Ribbon [Committee] at magkaroon ng fact-finding investigation," he added.
(The Ombudsman could look at the evidence we have gathered in the Blue Ribbon and conduct a fact-finding investigation.)
Despite having a paid-up capital of only P625,000, Pharmally bagged P8.7-billion worth of contracts last year to supply the Philippines medical supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of June 2021, the awarded contracts to Pharmally may have reached almost P12 billion.
Last week, the senators also questioned the new luxury cars bought by some Pharmally executives months after bagging the multibillion-peso deals.
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will resume its hearing on Sept. 21 when the panel receives more documents from PS-DBM and Pharmally.
Drilon said the Senate might come up with a committee report of the investigation in November.