Senate cites ex-DBM Usec. Christopher Lao in contempt for snubbing Pharmally hearings


Posted at Nov 04 2021 04:29 PM

MANILA - The Senate on Thursday cited in contempt former Budget Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao for his failure to attend the continuing investigation on the government's pandemic deals. 

Sen. Panfilo Lacson this week said Lao is not covered by President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to government officials in the executive branch not to appear in the Senate probe. 

"We are now issuing that order to facilitate. He is still needed here because he's got a lot of explaining as well," Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee, explained.

The panel earlier found out that Lao was in charge of handling some P42 billion in funds that the Department of Health (DOH) transferred to the Department of Budget and Management's procurement service (PS-DBM) without proper documentation.

Senators have also said that Lao is liable under anti-graft laws after Pharmally got billions of pesos in contracts despite a net-working capital of nearly P600,000 in 2019. 

This means that the threshold or the maximum worth of contract Pharmally should have gotten is only P5,994,500.

So far, the embattled firm got some P11.1 billion worth of contracts from 2020 to the first months of 2021. 


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