Pharmally director says he’s getting death threats after Senate probe
MANILA, Philippines — The Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. official who appeared before the Senate blue ribbon committee investigation on overpriced pandemic supplies, said that he has been receiving death threats ever since he testified.
According to Pharmally director and supply chain head Linconn Ong, he got text messages saying that he has to admit his alleged ties with the chief executive — presumably President Rodrigo Duterte — or else he and his family would be killed.
It is unclear from whom the death threats came from.
“Meron po akong natatanggap na mga text messages, ‘yong unang messages po ay bibigyan ako ng isang linggo […] you and your family will be killed if you would not admit your connection to the chief executive, isa po ‘yan,” Ong told senators during the committee hearing on Monday.
(I have received several text messages, the first messages said that I would be given a week… you and your family will be killed if you would not admit your connection to the chief executive, that was one.)
“Mr. Linconn Ong, we would give you a week of time, we’ll make sure you’ll have a Merry Christmas six feet underground, the agencies are locating you and your family, enjoy the billions fruit of your scam while you still can, tapos po pinatay ko na po ‘yong phone ko kasi natatakot na po ako sa nangyayari (then I shut off my phone because I already scared about what’s happening),” he added.
Ong made the revelation after committee chair and Senator Richard Gordon asked the Pharmally official about how he negotiated the contracts with the government, especially for the procurement of RT-PCR test kits from China-based BGI Genomics worth P600 million.
He said that he asked for a loan. When asked by Gordon about where the money came from, Ong said that he has a lot of death threats already.
“P600 million naman ‘tong halaga nito, at ang award ay para sa BGI real time fluorescent RT-PCR test kits. Ikaw ang kumausap? Saan kayo nangutang? Bago na naman ‘yan,” Gordon said.
(Now this one costs P600 million, and the award was for BGI real time fluorescent RT-PCR test kits. Did you negotiate for this? Whom did you ask for a loan from? That’s a new issue.)
“Mr. Chair ang dami ko na pong natanggap na death threats,” Ong said in exasperation.
(Mr. Chair I have received a lot of death threats already.)
Gordon then said that he would continue to get involved in so many things if Ong does not provide the truth.
“Eh ba’t ka made-death threat? Anong ginawa mong kasalanan? Ito tinatanong ko lang sa’yo simple, sino itong mga tao na inutangan ninyo? Ang laki nito ah, P600 million, napaka-swerte mo may nagpapa-utang sa inyo na kumpanya ng P600 million eh ang kapital mo P625,000 lang,” Gordon said.
(Why would you have death threats? What wrong have you done? I am only asking you a simple question, from whom did you take your loans? Because this is very big, P600 million, you are very lucky to have companies that would let you borrow P600 million when you only have a P625,000 capital.)
“Talagang gano’n eh, hanggang di ka nagsasabi ng totoo madami ka talagang idadamay, lahat ng sasabihin mo dadamay ‘yan,” he added.
(That’s how it goes, if you would not tell the truth you would involve a lot of people. Everyone you mention would be involved.)
Earlier, Ong name-dropped a certain “Brother Tiger” who owns Tigerphil Manufacturing, the source of the face masks priced at P23 per piece which was supplied to the Philippine government.
The purchase was made by the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM) despite other local supplies being less expensive even with the scarcity of supply during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The blue ribbon committee is investigating the issue of overpriced pandemic supplies, after COA flagged several items in DOH’s COVID-19 funds.
This includes the P42 billion given to the PS-DBM to buy alleged overpriced face masks, face shields, and PPE sets. A huge chunk of the alleged overpriced goods, said to be contracts with a total of P8.7 billion, went to Pharmally.
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