LOOK: Senate staff serves arrest order in ex-DBM exec Lao’s empty Davao mansion

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 15 2021 01:44 PM

Photos from Senate OSAA File Photos.
Photos from Senate OSAA File Photos.

MANILA — Former Budget Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao’s Davao mansion was empty when the Senate’s Office of the Sergeant at Arms (OSAA) served an arrest order over the weekend, staffers from the chamber said, Monday.

While the document was not served to the former head of the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM), pictures of the move showed that Lao lived in a two-story home with a sprawling yard in Davao City.

Senate staffers also served an arrest order against Lao in his condominium property in Cebu, but the lawyer was also not there, according to information from the OSAA.

Lao was among the government officials being investigated for the allegedly anomalous procurement of overpriced COVID-19 pandemic supplies from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, a 2-year-old company that bagged billions-worth of contracts from the PS-DBM despite having insufficient capital.

Senators earlier questioned the increase in Lao’s wealth that was declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), noting that his net worth increased between 2017 and 2019 despite not having any “earned income.”

Lao said the hike in his wealth was due to the sale of several memorial lots, which he acquired as payment from a client when he was still a practicing lawyer.

"Aside from the memorial lots, we also sold 2 of my lots... 2011 na property house and lot which I sold at P3.5 million and I also sold a golf course property.. at P2.5 million so basically that's the source of the increase. Plus my annual salary," he told senators during a Blue Ribbon investigation in September.

Records from the Bureau of Internal Revenue showed that Lao did not pay taxes in 2017 for supposedly having no taxable income. 

While he filed his ITR in 2018 and 2019 through the eBIR platform, these "could not be viewed" by the BIR. Last year, Lao did not file his ITR, according to a certification issued by the BIR in Davao City.

Lao, President Rodrigo Duterte’s former election lawyer, was also accused of extortion during his stint in the now-defunct Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

Lao denied the allegations.

In a related development, OSAA on Sunday arrested Pharmally executives Mohit and Twinkle Dargani in Davao City, where they boarded a private plane bound for Malaysia. 

RELATED VIDEO

Watch more News on iWantTFC