Duterte denies overpricing, ghost deliveries in Pharmally contracts
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has asserted that the procurement contracts for medical supplies involving Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. were aboveboard because “there was no overpricing” and that “everything was delivered” contrary to what senators suspect.
“There was no overpricing as some senators were so desperately trying to establish. Everything was delivered. There were no ghost deliveries as some senators were implying,” Duterte said in his taped meeting with Cabinet members aired on state-run PTV-4 on Thursday morning.
During a hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee on Monday, senators learned that documents proving the delivery of billions of pesos worth of medical supplies bought by the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) from Pharmally were prepared and signed even while the items were still to be shipped from China.
This raised suspicion among senators on the possibility that the supply contracts involving Pharmally were ghost deliveries.
The Senate committee is currently investigating the procurement of allegedly overpriced personal protective equipment bought by the PS-DBM on behalf of the Department of Health in 2020.
Senators have been questioning Pharmally, one of the suppliers tapped by the PS-DBM, for bagging over P8.6 billion worth of contracts despite being only several months old and having just P625,000 in paid-up capital.
Duterte has insisted there was no corruption in the government’s purchase of face masks and face shields which lawmakers have questioned for supposedly being overpriced.
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