MANILA — The Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executive who admitted that her firm "swindled" the Philippine government over the provision of supplies to battle the COVID-19 pandemic is not present in Thursday's continuation of the Senate probe on the said deal.
Pharmally's Krizle Grace Mago, who on Friday admitted that her company tampered with the expiry dates of face shields meant for the country's health workers, could still not be reached, according to senators.
Mago also failed to send an email to confirm her attendance, according to the Senate.
Over the weekend, Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said the chamber was unable to establish contact with Mago.
Gordon instructed the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms to trace her whereabouts. Sen. Risa Hontiveros said the offer for the Senate's protective custody still stands.
When asked if he knows where Mago is, Pharmally corporate secretary Mohit Dargani said he last spoke with her on Saturday morning.
On Wednesday, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) went to the known address of Mago, but she could not be located.
Mago's admission that her company swindled the government followed a testimony by a warehouse staff that they supposedly repacked face shields that were already yellowing, folded, wet, old, and even dirty.
Gordon and some senators alleged that Pharmally offered overpriced supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and suspect that it was favored by government because of its ties with businessman Michael Yang, President Rodrigo Duterte's former economic adviser.
Sen. Franklin Drilon had said that at least P10 billion worth of deals have been offered by government to Pharmally since last year.
The Duterte administration denied there was overpricing and said that the contracts were above board.
According to Gordon, public funds wasted on anomalous transactions could have been used for the benefits of health workers who are battling COVID-19 on the frontlines.