Ex-Pharmally officer Krizle Mago says Senate 'pressure' led her to 'inaccurate' responses

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2021 09:47 PM

Krizle Mago Screengrab
Krizle Mago, who had admitted that the firm 'swindled' the government by repacking substandard face shields for health workers, claimed she was just trying 'not to be evasive.' Screengrab

Mago: I will stick to my statement that it was a pressured response.

MANILA - A former officer of embattled Pharmally Pharmaceuticals, Corp. on Friday said the responses she made during a previous Senate hearing were "inaccurate" after she reiterated being pressured by lawmakers. 

Krizle Mago, who had admitted that the firm "swindled" the government by repacking substandard face shields for health workers, claimed on Friday she was just trying "not to be evasive." 

"Certainly there was pressure po. For the whole investigation," Mago said, noting that she resigned in mid-September. 

"I do agree that there’s a pressure for me to response directly and of course the time constraint po to answer the questions that’s why yung mga nagiging sagot ko ay inaccurate," she added, alleging that she was intimidated by Senator Panfilo Lacson during the September hearing. 

"I will stick to my statement that it was a pressured response."

This was also the reason why she went to the House of Representatives, where the approach of questioning was not hostile, she said. 

She reiterated that she is sticking with her statement in the lower chamber, where she said the "swindled the government" phrase was made under pressure. 

"I was able to compare the environment of investigation from the House of Representatives and from the Senate and that is one of the reasons why I chose to go [there] para po mapakapagbigay ako ng proper statement regarding my previous testimonies," Mago explained. ​

Pharmally's lawyer, Donn Kapunan, reviewed her letter addressed to House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for "voluntary" protective custody. She said she was given advice by the lawyer. 

She left the House's protection after a month and a half, however, so she go home to her province and see her family. 

"I chose to go back to my family. Hiling ko po na bumalik sa probinsya and be with my family," she said. 

But senators, however, did not believe that Mago answered under pressure because she was the one who dropped Mohit Dargani's name during her testimony. 

They noted that she was calm when she was answering the questions. 

Mago admitted, meanwhile, that she spoke with Dargani the day after that Senate hearing. 

"There is perjury. You lied to Sen. Lacson, to Sen. [Francis] Pangilinan. You lied to me... You said ‘you believe so'" said Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee.

It was also the Pharmally officer who gave up Mohit Dargani's name in her testimony, the senators pointed out.

"You saw the video, I don’t think you can point any portion there where the senators tried to bamboozle you into answering. In fact, I would repeat what I earlier stated… you were the one who volunteered the name of Mr. Dargani. That’s why I cannot understand how you suddenly agreed to go to the House or decided to go to the House. Sino bang kakilala mo doon?" Senate Minority Franklin Drilon. 

Mago, however, maintained her position, noting that it was the Pharmally's management that asked to repack the substandard face shields and saying Dargani's name was "inaccurate."

"That was really inaccurate. Because in my scope of work sa Pharmally, generally I would really take instructions from Mr. Dargani, that is what prompted me to say his name po," she said. 

Gordon, during the discussion, discussed to Mago what perjury means, and the penalties a civilian could face if proven they committed it. 

Senator Risa Hontiveros, meanwhile, pointed out that Mago still admitted that they indeed repacked face shields. 

"Ms. Mago confirmed for the second time na nagpapalit ng certificate ang Pharmally, nagtatalo lang sino sa PPC management ang nag-instruct but she confirmed ang pagpapalit ng certificate for the second time," said Hontiveros. 

Mago's admission that her company swindled the government followed a testimony by a warehouse staff that they supposedly repacked face shields that were already yellowing, folded, wet, old, and even dirty.

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.


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