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Gordon calls 2 Pharmally execs ‘Senate fugitives’ after no-show in probe

/ 03:27 PM October 28, 2021
Gordon calls 2 Pharmally execs 'Senate fugitives’ after no-show in probe

Mohit Dargani (left) and Twinkle Dargani

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon on Thursday called two executives of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. as Senate “fugitives” after they stopped showing up in an ongoing blue ribbon committee investigation.

READ: Pharmally’s Dargani siblings ordered detained in Senate

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Pharmally executives and siblings Mohit and Twinkle Dargani were earlier cited for contempt and ordered detained in the Senate over their “refusal” to submit documents earlier subpoenaed by the panel.

“Again, contemptuous yung ginawa nila, habang siya ay nakasalang, si Mohit Dargani, nung sinabi namin na sila ay pako-contempt, that would have been a reason for him to say, magsasalita na po ako,” Gordon said, recalling what happened during the Oct. 19 hearing.

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(Again, what they did is contemptuous, when he (Mohit) was being questioned when we said we would cite him for contempt, that would have been a reason for him to make full disclosures.)

“Ano po ang ginawa? Imbes na magsalita, nawala na lang po sa ating virtual at hindi na po sumagot. Umiskapo na po at naging fugitive sa Senado at hindi na sila nagpakita silang magkapatid,” he added.

(What did he do? Instead of speaking, he suddenly logged off our virtual hearing and did not answer. He escaped and they became a fugitive of the Senate and they did not show up anymore.)

The committee, chaired by Gordon, opened on Thursday its 13th hearing on the government’s pandemic-related purchases in 2020.

Pharmally, which is at the center of the investigation, bagged over P8.6 billion in contracts from the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) in 2020.

Since the Oct. 19 hearing, the Dargani siblings have yet to be arrested. Both were also a no-show in Thursday’s hearing.

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In a statement last Friday, Mohit said the blue ribbon panel is treating Pharmally officials “like criminals whose lives aren’t worthy of living anymore” and that the committee “failed” to treat them “justly.”

He also insisted that they have “tried [their] best to cooperate and respect” the committee.

READ: ‘We are like hostages’: Pharmally exec ‘in hiding’ criticizes blue ribbon panel

“Napipilitan po kami to cite witnesses in contempt, sino ba ang gustong mag-contempt, wala naman po akong mahihita diyan,” Gordon went on.

(We are forced to cite witnesses for contempt, who wants to do that? I don’t gain anything by doing that.)

READ: ‘We are like hostages’: Pharmally exec ‘in hiding’ criticizes blue ribbon panel

“Attending a Senate hearing can be easy and it can be hard. It is hardest when witnesses do not cooperate and do not give or share information necessary to our faithful performance of our tasks,” the senator also said in an earlier statement.

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