Pharmally's Krizle Mago left the House's protective custody '2 days ago' - lawmaker

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2021 05:30 PM

MANILA - Former Pharmally officer Krizle Mago, who admitted during a Senate hearing that her firm "swindled" the government, has left the House of Representative's protective custody this week, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Rep. Mike Aglipay, chairman of the House Committee on Good Government that also probed Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. over its deals with government since last year for the supply of medical equipment, told members of the media that Mago is no longer under their custody since two days ago.

The House also does not have communication with her anymore, he said.

“Voluntary itong protective custody niya in her end. Di siya held against her will. Nagsulat siya ng letter sa leadership last week na gusto na niya umalis. We allowed her. She left in the last 2 days, 2 days ago," Aglipay said.

(Her being under our protective custody was voluntary. She was not held against her will. She wrote a letter to the leadership last week that she wanted to leave.)

Mago's departure from the House custody came after the arrest of Pharmally executives Mohit and Twinkle Dargani in Davao City last Sunday as they boarded a private plane that was reportedly planning to fly to Malaysia.

The Dargani siblings were cited in contempt for failing to submit documents subpoenaed by the Senate, which has been investigating the transactions of Pharmally.

The House took Mago, who since had said she is no longer affiliated with Pharmally, under its protective custody last month upon her request. At that time, Mago wrote to House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco to request for protection.

To recall, Mago admitted to senators that they were changing the expiration dates of medical-grade face shields to make it look like they were manufactured this year. 

She, however, recanted this testimony to House lawmakers and said she was pressured to give the response. 

“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," she said then.

Mago had also claimed she felt she was in danger.

COMMITTEE REPORT

Aglipay, meanwhile, revealed that his panel has submitted a draft report which is now being reviewed by the Legal Team of the Speaker’s Office.

”Kakabigay ko lang kahapon. Bigyan natin sila ng 2 to 3 weeks. Wala pang nakakakita ng report kung 'di yung Speaker’s office at saka staff ko sa Committee Secretariat," he said.

(I submitted it yesterday. Let's give them 2 to 3 weeks. Nobody saw the committee report except the Speaker's office and my staff at the Committee Secretariat.)

"Masyadong complicated yung mga issues. Kailangan 'di minamadali. Pero definitely, we will be careful ini indicting anybody or recommending charges," he said.

(The issues are complicated. You should not rush it. But we will be careful in indicting anybody or recommending charges.)

Aglipay said the report might be released by December.

Some senators alleged that Pharmally offered overpriced supplies to the government as it dealt with 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.

The Senate has yet to finish its probe on the issue, with the next hearing set on Nov. 25.

The Blue Ribbon panel has so far recommended the filing of various charges against Pharmally's officers, Yang, and former budget official Lloyd Christopher Lao, among others, due to the allegedly anomalous transactions.

— RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

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