MANILA—Two Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executives on Thursday were cited in contempt by senators who alleged they went offline amid the continuing hearing on the government deals with their firm.
Mohit Dargani and his sister, Twinkle, apparently lost their connection at the Senate hearing as it neared its end. They were both online at the beginning of the session.
They did not respond when Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, asked them in relation to the financial transactions of their chairman, Huang Tzu Yen.
"The chair will now entertain a contempt order, for not appearing despite the fact that they were here, and I don't care if you are millionaires, we will put you in contempt . . . Walang exemption dito yan," Gordon said.
Huang surmised that they did not have signal, which Gordon described as "convenient" for them.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan said Mohit appeared to be online, as he appeared in the senators' feed, but Twinkle was not.
"There are so many questions that should be asked of Mohit, Twinkle, the accountants," Gordon noted.
Minutes before the hearing concluded, Mohit could be heard saying, "Hello, Mr. Chairman" several times, but Gordon refused to recognize him.
When he turned on his camera, he was in the dark with a small light.
"You're too smart for your style, and now you're gonna tell me you had a brownout because you're in the dark," Gordon added.
The Senate will continue its hearing on the alleged misuse of COVID-19 response funds at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
Pharmally's deal with government is under scrutiny for alleged overpricing and delivery of substandard pandemic supplies to government.
Sen. Franklin Drilon had said that at least P10 billion worth of supply deals have been awarded to Pharmally since last year by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management.