Pharmally employee believes firm ‘swindled’ gov’t in delivery of face shields
MANILA, Philippines — A Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. representative under questioning by Sen. Richard Gordon admitted the company might have “swindled” the government when it changed the expiration dates on the face shields it delivered.
“So you were swindling the government?” Gordon, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, asked Pharmally regulatory affairs head Krizle Mago.
“I believe so. I believe that is the case, Mr. Chairman,” Mago, who was holding back tears, said in response.
Before this, Mago confirmed the claim of a Pharmally warehouse employee that they were ordered to replace the certificates of face shields dated 2020 with new certificates dated 2021.
“This was a supply concern. I raised it to the management and that was the solution that was given to us,” Mago told senators.
“That is something I cannot deny,” she added.
When asked who gave her the order, Mago said it was from Pharmally’s management.
Asked who specifically gave the order, she pointed to Pharmally corporate secretary and treasurer Mohit Dargani.
“You’re a Filipino. I think you’re a good lady who wants to get up in life. You got in with rich people who can afford to live on their own, while you’re still struggling, I suppose,” Gordon said, speaking partly in Filipino.
“Help the country,” he added.
Mago said she was willing to cooperate.
Later in the hearing, Dargani denied that the instruction to replace the expiration dates came from him.
“I believe Krizle asked it in our group if this is doable. But if the instruction came from me? It did not come from me,” Dargani said.
“Maybe Ms. Mago’s memory — because she was always used to getting instructions from me — maybe in this scenario, she named me. But it’s not the case,” he added.
In response, Mago said she would have to check their records and conversations to verify. But she maintained that she “always follows instructions” as an employee.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan then suggested that security be provided for Mago should she agree to tell the “whole truth” to the chamber.
“We can perhaps request the Senate president and the sergeant-at-arms if it’s possible to provide security for Ms. Mago should she be willing to fully cooperate,” Pangilinan said.
He surmised Mago might be telling only “part of the truth.”
Then Pangilinan said: “Because that level of quality is substandard, it’s possible that there were doctors and nurses who got COVID and died — precisely because they were substandard when the face shields should have been medical grade, because the expiry date was changed and the quality indicated was not right.”
“If you would be telling the whole truth, we should be able to provide you with the necessary security to protect you,” he added.
The Senate blue ribbon panel has been investigating the government’s transactions with Pharmally, which was awarded over P8.6 billion worth of supply contracts for medical supplies in 2020 despite being only several months old and having just P625,000 in paid-up capital.
The Pharmally chairman and president, Huang Tzu Yen, previously denied that the firm was favored in any way in the government’s procurement of medical supplies in 2020, saying it was “unfairly prejudged.”
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