MANILA – Two top officials of Pharmally, a company that supplied allegedly overpriced face masks, face shields and other medical equipment to the Philippine government, are wanted for alleged fraud, embezzlement and stock manipulation in Taiwan, an opposition senator said Wednesday.
In a virtual presser, Senator Risa Hontiveros said Pharmally International Holdings chairman Huang Wen Lie is wanted for securities fraud, stock manipulation, and embezzlement, while his son, Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation incorporator Huang Tzu Yen, is wanted for stock manipulation.
Hontiveros said she did not have to dig deep to find out that the father and son are allegedly fugitives.
“Bakit hindi ito naamoy man lang ng ating mga otoridad? Publicly available ang mga impormasyong ito? Ang nakakapagtaka pa, kahit may warrant of arrest na para sa kanya, ang latest purchase order ng kanyang kompanyang Pharmally ay noong June 2021,” she said.
“Kaya nang sumagot si dating Usec. Chris Lao na hindi daw nila ginawa ang kanilang ‘due diligence’, nakakadismaya. Kaunting Google lang ay mayroon namang makikitang kalinawan na ang mag-amang Huang Wen Lie at Huang Tzu Yen ay parehong tinatakasan ang batas.”
In a separate interview on ANC’s “Dateline Philippines,” the senator stressed that the pandemic is not an excuse to skip due diligence in the purchase of medical equipment.
“All the more due diligence must be observed, must be done kasi pandemic fund ito. Limited enough for the great needs of our people, so paano tayo umabot sa ganito?” she said.
Hontiveros noted that Filipino manufacturers were making the same products that were bought from Pharmally and even offering them at a lower price.
She added that contracts were awarded to Pharmally at around the same time the government was saying that the pandemic was already “under control.”
“Let’s also remember that around the same time they were awarding these contracts, they were saying that the pandemic was under control. Tapos ganyan yung excuse?”
“So kung at that time medyo lumuwag na yung pandemya, then even their very lame argument about due diligence, it should have been more doable for them. Pero hindi pa rin,” she said.
Hontiveros said she believes that the Huangs' business undertakings are connected to a company named “Full Win,” whose chairman Zheng Bingqjang is “wanted for stock manipulation.”
Full Win’s Philippine arm is chaired by Michael Yang, who was President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic adviser.
Hontiveros said Yang is emerging to be the “best actor” in government’s transactions with Pharmally.
“Kasi andito siya eh, sa Pharmally companies both international and Philippine, and pati doon sa Full Win Companies, international and Philippines.”
The senator said Yang should appear at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s hearing next week.
“Kung wala talaga siyang tinatago, magpakita siya at 'wag matakot si Mr. Michael Yang. At 'wag ding matakot si Presidente para sa kaniyang kaibigan.”
“Someone who has nothing to hide should have no trouble appearing before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee,” she added.
Hontiveros said government should be careful about which foreign businessmen and investments it allows into the country.
“Sabi pa ni presidente, gusto niya ng investors. Sino ba namang hindi? Pero anong klaseng mga investors and what kind of investments?”
“Do we want government to be transacting with people who are charged with embezzlement, with stock manipulation, mga estapador sa kanilang mga bansa who have standing warrants of arrest in their name?” she said.
– with report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News