Pharmally's chief accountant summoned to Senate probe | Inquirer News

Pharmally’s chief accountant summoned to Senate probe

/ 11:37 PM September 30, 2021

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon   (Screen grab/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has ordered the issuance of a subpoena against the chief accountant of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. which is at the center of the chamber’s probe into the government’s pandemic spending.

In a bid to further scrutinize Pharmally’s financial records, the committee is compelling accountant Jeff Mariano to face the Senate investigation.


This, after senators learned that the external accountant hired by Pharmally, Illuminada Sebial, was not given access to actual documents that will support the entries in the company’s financial statements.


According to Sebial, Pharmally refused to give her documents and would just provide her with a list for checking.

“Chineck ko naman po, may listahan po silang ibinigay tapos chineck ko lang po, nag-tally naman po [I check the list and everything tallied],” Sebial told senators.

Senate Minority Franklin Drilon then asked Sebial: “Sino po sa Pharmally ang humaharang sa mga dokumentong kailangan mo dahil ikaw ang nag-audit e, dapat hawak mo ito e.”

(Who in Pharmally is blocking your access to the documents that you need because you are the one auditing, you need to see these records.)

Sebial then pointed to Mariano.


Drilon asked committee chairman Senator Richard Gordon to subpoena Mariano.

“May I request that he be subpoenaed because I could hardly get anything from this witness,” the minority leader said, referring to Sebial.

“She doesn’t realize that she’s violating all the rules that go with her license to be an accountant,” he added.

Gordon approved Drilon’s request.

“Did you not feel it is your duty to go back to the company and get the records that you said were in support of the financial statements which you audited?” Drilon also asked Sebial.

Sebial said she did ask financial records from Pharmally but to no avail.

“Humihingi po ako ng mga documents, ayaw na po nilang magbigay [I asked them for documents, but they did not give it to me],” she said.

Drilon also asked that the following documents be subpoenaed for the next hearing:

  • Deeds of donation for the P33-million worth of donations made by Pharmally
  • Support documents on sales amounting to P7,485,401,046
  • Support documents on the cost of sales amounting to P7,092,274,180
  • Documents on the assets in foreign currency which generated unrealized foreign exchange gains of over P63 million.

Pharmally executive Twinkle Dargani said they will comply with the request.

But she said they will have to consult with their legal counsel on which documents can be handed over, citing data privacy and bank secrecy laws as well as the country’s corporation code.

“There is no law that says we cannot look at this because you yourself submitted this to the government offices. These are public records,” Drilon, however, said.

“We will check with our legal counsel whatever we can submit,” Dargani maintained.

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But Gordon reminded her: “When you are required to bring documents that are pertinent to his investigation, you must produce those documents, otherwise, you are partially stopping the progress of this investigation.”

TAGS: Accountant, Pharmally, Sebial, Senate probe

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