Several Senate bets say upper house's Pharmally probe should continue

Mico Abarro, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2021 04:09 AM

MANILA -- The Philippine Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's probe into government's allegedly anomalous pandemic deals with Pharmally Pharmaceutical should continue, according to five candidates seeking a seat at the upper house, Tuesday. 

Consumer advocate and Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino candidate Rodolfo Bobila "R..J." Javellana said at TeleRadyo's "Sino SENyo" senatorial candidates' interview that the probe had uncovered many things and that the upper house should press further to imprison those proven to have committed crimes. 

"Saan naman tayo nakakita habang nagugutom ang sambayanang Pilipino, habang walang pambayad ng kuryente, tubig at iba pa, may gumagawa ng kalokohan at ginagawang negosyo ang pandemya na ito?" he said. "Kaya kailangan na ito ay ipagpatuloy." 

(Where else have you seen that, as Filipinos go hungry and have no money to pay for electricity, water, and other things, others are making a business out of this pandemic? That is why the probe should continue.) 

>READ: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/12/03/21/pharmally-exec-cries-in-frustration-amid-missing-docs

As for labor leader and Partido Lakas ng Masa senatorial bet Atty. Renecio "Luke" S. Espiritu Jr., the Senate's probe should not stop at jailing what he called "small fish", but those at the top of the alleged anomalies.

"Dapat maparusahan dahil sobrang grabeng kasalanan niyan," he said. "Hanggang sa tuktok, kailangan maituloy ang imbestigasyon hanggang may makulong." 

(Someone must be punished because this is a grave sin. The investigation must reach all the way to the top and continue until someone lands in prison.)

Former senator and Sorsogon Governor Francis "Chiz" Escudero of the Nationalist People's Coalition meanwhile maintained that it was the Blue Ribbon Committee's job to investigate alleged malfeasance in government offices. People's Reform Party bet and former defense secretary Gilbert ‘Gibo’ Teodoro Jr. also said the probe should continue, but the Senate must make sure it is gathering evidence that can be used in a successful prosecution. 

Even though the Senate's probe into government's allegedly anomalous pandemic spending had been going on for at least 16 hearings, disability advocate and independent candidate Carmen Zubiaga said she will not tire of keeping tabs on the investigation. 

"Dapat hindi tumigil ang Blue Ribbon Committee dahil marami nang mahihirap ang napagka-kaitan ng tamang tulong sa pamahalaan tapos ipambibili lang nila ng mararangyang sasakyan?" she said. 

(The Blue Ribbon Committee should not stop because many poor people are deprived of proper help from the government, and it's all being used to buy fancy cars?) 

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Richard Gordon has said the Pharmally probe will continue despite repeated tirades by President Rodrigo Duterte against it. 

Duterte has barred Cabinet officials from attending the Senate's hearings. 

Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation officials Mohit Dargani, his sister Twinkle, and Linconn Ong are currently in detention for contempt amid the Senate's investigation. 

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