Pharmally execs fail to find crucial financial documents

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2021 05:42 PM

Bureau of Jail Management and Penology officers from the Pasay City Jail escort Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executives Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong to the committee room upon arriving at the Senate Friday, December 3, 2021. Senate PRIB handout
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology officers from the Pasay City Jail escort Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executives Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong to the committee room upon arriving at the Senate Friday, December 3, 2021. Senate PRIB handout

MANILA— Officers of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. told the Senate Friday they have so far failed to locate boxes supposedly containing the firm's financial documents detailing billions worth of transactions.

At the continuation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee probe in the company's allegedly anomalous deal with government, Pharmally Secretary Mohit Dargani and its director Linconn Ong said they do not know where to really find the boxes.

Dargani earlier said their office lease expired, which was why their office possessions were put in boxes. He said this to explain he does not have the documents in his person.

Dargani and Ong were transferred to the Pasay City Jail after senators deemed the two evasive regarding the documents crucial to find out the truth on Pharmally's transactions.

"We don’t know where it’s kept because as I mentioned I left in August, he (Ong) got detained in September and we lost our employees as well so we did not know where to start. The next day, I informed the OSSAA (Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms) that I would rather stay put because ayoko silang pasyalan (I don't want to visit there)," Dargani explained. 

Ong, meanwhile, said that he does not really know where the boxes are.

He also maintained his innocence and said senators should just file charges against them instead because they are already "suffering."

"'Yung mga file na 'yan, I really don’t know kung saan sila. But since the chairman has a conclusion kanina, siguro file-an na lang nila kami ng kaso. Kasi nagsa-suffer po kami sa kulungan. Hindi naman po kami kriminal," said Ong. 

(I really do not know where those files are. But since the chairman already has a conclusion, I think it is better if they file a case against us because we are already suffering in jail. We are not criminals.)

"Mr. Chairman, I am begging for your mercy, ‘di naman po kami criminal. Andito na po kami sa kulungan… iniimbestigahan na po kami ng BIR."

(We are not criminals and we are already detained. The BIR is already investigating us.)

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Richard Gordon said the act of not producing subpoenaed documents is a violation of the law. 

"How can you tell me that you are... truthful…. Pinasyal niyo lang naman kami and [Office of the] Sergeant-At-Arms (OSAA), do not try to be to get awa, wala kayong makukuhang awa (pity, you won't get pity)," he said.

"Before we can be merciful we should be just," the senator added.

Gordon earlier asked the OSAA to look for the boxes with the two Pharmally officers.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros told the executives that they have a 2-week window to find the documents before they are sent to join other detainees at the Pasay City Jail. The two still need to undergo 10 to 14 days of quarantine. 

Gordon said they still do not know how much money the government lost on the supposedly anomalous transactions. 

"How much are we really investigating here?... P42 billion was allocated and about a third of that were... awarded to your company. I am very disturbed by that," he added.

The paper trail on Pharmally's transactions remain elusive since the early parts of the hearing, with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asking Sebial what documents they had to prove Pharmally's cost of sales amounting to P7.092 billion.

Pharmally is facing an inquiry after it cornered billions worth of contracts with the Department of Budget and Management's Procurement Service (PS-DBM) between April and June 2020 despite having only P625,000 in capital.

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