Pharmally's Mago surfaces after damning testimony, placed under House protective custody

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2021 07:36 PM | Updated as of Oct 01 2021 09:08 PM

Pharmally Executive Krizle Mago is now in the custody of the House of Representatives, according to House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability Chair Diwa Rep. Michael Aglipay. Handout photo from Diwa Party List Rep. Mike Aglipay.
Pharmally Executive Krizle Mago is now in the custody of the House of Representatives, according to House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability Chair Diwa Rep. Michael Aglipay. Handout photo from Diwa Party List Rep. Mike Aglipay.

MANILA (UPDATED) - Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp's Krizle Mago, who lost contact with Philippine lawmakers since the scathing testimony against her firm during a Senate inquiry, surfaced Friday and was placed under the House's protective custody, a lawmaker said. 

Mago, who said she is fearing for her life, last week admitted that Pharmally "swindled" the government for ordering the tampering of face shield expiry dates. 

Diwa Party List Rep. Mike Aglipay said Mago was placed under the lower chamber's protective custody at 6:30 p.m.

"She is now safely inside the House of Representatives. All questions should be directed to the Sgt-at-Arms Mao Aplasca," said Aglipay.

Aglipay shared a letter from Mago to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco seeking protection.

“Presently, I cannot speak freely about the ongoing investigation on the alleged overprice of medical equipments without feeling threatened due to the undue influence and pressure being exerted from various sources," Mago's letter read.

“I feel that my life and liberty is in grave danger because of my coming out and my desire to speak the truth. Also now, I came across the information from the news that the police and NBI are tracking me down including my grandparents' home in the province and took photos and videos without their consent. I truly regret that I am being treated like a fugitive from justice.”

Mago said the protective custody that she is requesting from the House of Representatives would help her speak freely without unnecessary compulsion from anyone.

The House committee earlier summoned Mago to attend its inquiry on Oct. 4, Monday.

During the continuation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Thursday, Mago was absent after the panel could not locate her. 

She was also subpoenaed to attend the Senate hearing slated on Tuesday.

Aglipay told Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Richard Gordon that Mago could still testify in their hearings. 

“Should you require her participation in any of your hearings, please communicate with the Committee Secretariat and we will make the necessary arrangements for it,” Aglipay told Gordon.

On Wednesday, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) went to the known address of Mago, but she could not be located.

 'SENATORS CONCERNED'

In a statement, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who initially offered Mago of protective custody in the Senate, hoped that she is comfortable at the Batasang Pambansa.

"I trust it will be a comfortable stay for her — but hopefully not too comfortable. Inter parliamentary courtesy requires that I say nothing more," she said. 

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Mago's safety should be prioritized as they were "concerned" for her after not being located nor reached for a couple of days.

"Very good. As long as she is safe. Her testimony given in the Senate is more than enough. The people have heard her already," he noted.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan sees no problem with the Pharmally executive's stay at the lower chamber.

"I understand the HoR will make arrangements to make her available should the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee requests for her presence."

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. 

The Duterte administration denied there was overpricing and said that the contracts were above board.

--- with reports from RG Cruz and Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News
 

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