MANILA (UPDATED) — Two officers from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. will be moved to the Pasay City Jail for their failure to submit subpoenaed documents, which they said could be "in boxes," the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee decided on Friday.
Pharmally executives Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong would be transferred to the jail for "safekeeping", according to Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the committee.
Twinkle Dargani, Pharmally's president, will stay in the Senate premises in Pasay City.
"We will send Mr. Dargani and Mr. Ong because they are not cooperating again, they think they can talk their way out of this... I'd rather bring them over to the Pasay City Jail," Gordon said.
Before this developed, Dargani said he wants to retrieve the boxes in their office or in a warehouse. The boxes contain some of Pharmally's financial documents that can shed light on the ongoing probe.
But their office lease already expired, which could mean the boxes might no longer be there, he claimed.
"I just want and pray that our request to go for me to look physically for the books ... or for the documents or for the boxes with the companion of the OSAA. I will genuinely look for them and also if I just convene with Mr. Ong, not in a public setting like this," Dargani said.
He also said Ong knows where the boxes are, but the officer said he wanted to speak with their accountants and tax lawyers on the matter.
"Just allow me some time to talk to him.”
Gordon allowed these requests but warned him if the needed documents are not recovered, Dargani will be sent directly to Pasay City Jail.
"We'll allow you an hour, that’s it, but make no mistake about it. If we do not get those boxes immediately … there is a standing order that you be transferred and I’ve done this before to Pasay City Jail. The Senate is not going to be held hostage by your antics of evading information that is necessary. Masyadong inapi ang bayan dito," the senator said.
To recall, the Senate issued contempt orders against Dargani on the same issue, while Ong supposedly evaded the question of senators.
The Senate panel is investigating Pharmally after records showed that the PS-DBM awarded billions of pesos worth of government contracts to the company that only had less than a million pesos in paid-up capital.
Some senators earlier said the PS-DBM bought allegedly overpriced face masks and RT-PCR test kits from the company, whose executives are accused of fraudulent schemes in Taiwan, instead of procuring from local suppliers that were selling cheaper items.
The panel has so far recommended the filing of various charges against Pharmally's officers, Chinese businessman and former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang and former budget official Christopher Lloyd Lao, among others, due to the allegedly anomalous transactions.