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Says firm had 'help' from 'sitting officials'

Robredo hopes no cover up in probe on Pharmally supply overprice

/ 12:43 PM September 26, 2021

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms MGen. Rene C. Samonte (Ret.) and security staff escort Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. Executive Linconn Ong inside the Senate building Tuesday, September 21, 2021. Ong was cited in contempt and ordered to be arrested by the Blue Ribbon Committee for his “evasive” answers last Sept. 10. Senate PRIB Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday hoped that there would be no cover up in the investigation on Pharmally Parmaceutical Corp.’s alleged overpricing of medical supplies.

“Talagang ang daming irregularities na nangyari tapos napakalaking pera ‘yung involved. Sa’kin, mabuti na lang mayroong mga lumalabas na witness. Ang sa’tin lang na pakiusap sana wala nang cover up,” Robredo appealed on BISErbisyong LENI on DZXL.

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(There are a lot of irregularities involving a huge amount of money. For me, it’s good that there are witnesses. Our appeal is that there would be no cover up.)

“Sana lumabas ‘yung katotohanan para hindi na ito nauulit pa. ‘Pag may cover up kasi at makalusot, paulit-ulit lang itong gagawin,” she added.

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(I hope the truth would come out so it would not happen again. If there’s a cover up and it gets through, it would just be repeated.)

Robredo also lamented the plight of health workers, displaced workers, and households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who struggle financially.

“Maraming mga hindi nakukuha ‘yung dapat na makuha dahil walang pera. Kung totoo sanang walang pera, magtutulungan tayo para kahit papano mapunuan ‘yung pagkukulang. Pero ang sakit sa loob na hindi pala totoo na walang pera. Mayroon palang pera pero pinagkakakitaan ng mga nakaupo,” she noted.

(There are many individuals who do not receive what they ought to because of the lack of money. If it’s true that there is no money, we should help one another to fill the gaps. But, it hurts that it’s not true that we do not have money. There is money but it is profited by those in position.)

“‘Yun yung pinaka-masakit. Kasi hindi naman mangyayari itong Pharmally kung walang nakaupo na katulong,” Robredo said, adding that the alleged profits could have helped save lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

(That is what hurts the most. The alleged overpricing would not happen if those in position would not help.)

Pharmally, currently facing a Senate investigation, bagged a whopping P8.7 billion contract with the government to provide medical supplies to health workers and frontliners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic despite having only P625,000 in capital.

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The contract was awarded by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management through its former chief, Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao, who has been linked to Senator Christopher “Bong” Go and President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lao allegedly worked under Go when the latter was still the special assistant to the president. Lao was in the Presidential Management Staff, over which Go had supervision.

Go had denied links to Lao, Pharmally, or to presidential economic adviser, Chinese national Michael Yang, insisting that mere association with people being investigated was not enough basis in filing charges.

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Pharmally employee believes firm ‘swindled’ gov’t in delivery of face shields

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TAGS: Krizle Grace Mago, Leni Robredo, pandemic funds, Pharmally, Senate hearing
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