'She lied': Lacson questions Pharmally officer's claim of being 'pressured' for responses

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 27 2021 01:00 PM

MANILA - Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Saturday accused former Pharmally officer Krizle Mago of lying after she reiterated in a Senate hearing that she was "pressured" to give her testimonies against her management. 

Lacson said a video of her interpellation on Sept. 24 would show that Mago was not coerced for her responses. 

This was also the same argument that senators raised on Friday during the resumption of the Senate probe. Mago also admitted that day that she was intimidated by Lacson's line of questioning. 

"One only needs to watch the video footage of my interpellation... to conclude without any iota of doubt that this woman was not in any way 'under pressure'" Lacson said in a tweet reply to an ABS-CBN News story.

"She obviously volunteered the information in her testimony. She lied in the [House of Representatives] and lied again in the Senate," the senator added. 

WATCH: Pharmally official admits swindling by firm

Watch more on iWantTFC

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Gordon echoed Lacson, and said Mago was "very calm" during the interpellation. 

"The evidence is against you, nakita mo naman kalmadong-kalmado na tinatanong ka ni Senator Lacson, kalmadong-kalmado ka… nahihiya ka siguro, then you said... ikaw ang nagsabi ng pangalan ni [Mohit] Dargani," Gordon explained. 

(When you were being asked by Senator Lacson, you were calm. Maybe you were shy but it was you who dropped the name of Mohit Dargani.)

On Friday, Mago, who had admitted that Pharmally swindled the government by repacking substandard face shields, said the supposed "pressure" she was feeling led her to "inaccurate" responses. 

"I did feel pressure for the whole investigation and at the same time, I was trying not to be evasive and answer questions because there’s a threat of being cited in contempt kapag evasive," she explained.

"I will stick to my statement that it was a pressured response," she added later on.

She had also repeated that it was not Mohit Dargani, Pharmally's secretary, who asked workers to repack the expired face shields, but the firm's management. 

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, meanwhile, pointed out that her statement just affirms that Pharmally really did the act but the question now is who asked them to do it. 

Pharmally is under inquiry for supposedly supplying overpriced medical goods to the government when the COVID-19 pandemic started last year.

Senators are questioning why the government bought what lawmakers said are overpriced anti-virus masks at P27 each and face shields worth P122 a piece. 

The probe is slated to resume on Dec. 3.