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Senate issues subpoena, wants BI to check Pharmally’s local Chinese suppliers

/ 04:26 PM September 13, 2021
Senate issues subpoena, wants BI to check Pharmally’s local Chinese suppliers

According to Senator Richard Gordon, the senators want BI to determine if the two Chinese nationals named by Pharmally director and supply chain manager Linconn Ong – a “Brother Tiger” and a “Wang Jie” – have entered the country.

MANILA, Philippines — A Senate committee has asked the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to examine the files of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. suppliers as it appears the company relied on other individuals to provide the government with pandemic supplies.

According to Senator Richard Gordon on Monday, the senators want BI to determine if the two Chinese nationals named by Pharmally director and supply chain manager Linconn Ong – a “Brother Tiger” and a “Wang Jie” – have entered the country.

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Sen. Imee Marcos’ motion to subpoena Brother Tiger and Wan Jie’s files was approved, so both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) documents on the businesses should be available at the next hearing.

“We will ask immigration to check […] whether a Wan Jie arrived here na ni-rerefer ni Linconn Ong na nag-supply sa kanya ng P220 million,” Gordon said.

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“In respect to Mr. Tiger and Wan Jie I already issued an order, and now you’re (Senator Marcos) adding to it by asking for a subpoena duces tecum, and let the SEC give us all the documentation, the BIR to find out about the warehouses, and find out what is the utmost source of these people para malaman natin where the money came from,” he added after Marcos made her motion.

The senators’ move came after Ong revealed another name — that of Wan Jie — as another supplier he approached when asked by the government to provide other pandemic supplies.

“Kanino niyo binigay (contract), kay Tiger na naman?” Gordon asked.

“Hindi na po, ang pangalan nitong supplier na ito, ang tawag po sa kanya Mr. Wan.  Mr. Wan po ang tawag sa supplier na ‘yan […] Wan Jie.  Pure Chinese po,” Ong noted.

Ong said that he neither knows what specific company Wan Jie operates nor his company address — adding that they have only transacted via phone.

“Anong supplier, anong negosyo nila?  You’re ordered to answer the question so that we can subpoena them,” Gordon said.

“Wan Jie po, nag-iimport import lang din po siya […]  Hindi ko po alam ‘yong pangalan ng kumpanya niya eh, I only know the name Mr. Chairman, minsan kasi hindi rin sila — alam mo ‘yong kumpanya-kumpanya, mga Chinese eh, Binondo-style,” Ong answered.

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Earlier, Ong already said that he sought help from a “Brother Tiger” to supply the government 500,000 pieces of face masks when the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM) asked Pharmally to deliver.

This was after another Pharmally official in Krizle Mago told senators that the firm only received an email from the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM) last March 25, 2020, about the quotation request purchase of face masks.

Mago said she responded to the email on March 26, 2020, but they delivered on March 25.  Pressed where they sourced their supplies, Ong answered for Mago, saying they used items from Tigerphil Marketing which the so-called “Brother Tiger owns.”

READ: Pharmally exec admits getting face masks at P23 each from ‘Brother Tiger’ to supply gov’t

Gordon then turned to former PS officer-in-charge Christopher Lloyd Lao, claiming that the then-procurement chief did not exercise due diligence. He did not ask for the details of the company the government was dealing with.

In response, Lao said that there was no need to ask for documents from Pharmally since they have already been delivered in the past.

“Again, Mr. Lao, hindi mo ginawa ‘yong due diligence mo, hindi mo tinanong kung kaya nila, hindi mo tinatanong kung sariling pera nila ‘yan, in other words binibigay mo lang ‘yan,” Gordon accused Lao.

“One, the law does not require such documentation, but despite that, we still complied; second, they have already delivered before, so that is proof that they can deliver.  Third, we did not give any advance payment, so there is no loss [on] our part,” Lao replied.

The blue ribbon committee is investigating the issue of overpriced pandemic supplies after the Commission on Audit flagged several items in the Department of Health’s 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. Pharmally allegedly took home a large share of the overpriced goods, namely contracts worth P8.7 billion.

READ: Ex-DBM exec Lao’s name resurfaces as senators hit ‘overpriced’ face masks, shields 

READ: COA finds DOH lacking in managing P67.32-B COVID funds 

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TAGS: Brother Tiger, Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service , Department of Health, DoH, face mask, face shield, Krizle Mago, Linconn Ong, Pharmally, Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., Philippine news updates, PS-DBM, Senate, Senate blue ribbon committee, Senator Richard Gordon, Tigerphil Marketing
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