Pharmally employee files cases vs Hontiveros for alleged sedition, perjury | Inquirer News
Close  

Pharmally employee files cases vs Hontiveros for alleged sedition, perjury

/ 03:04 PM November 03, 2021
Pharmally employee files cases vs Hontiveros for alleged sedition, perjury

Sen. Risa Hontiveros. INQURER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — An employee of the beleaguered Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. has filed complaints against Senator Risa Hontiveros for supposedly committing sedition and perjury when she presented a witness who now allegedly admits to being bribed and ordered by the legislator.

In the complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday, a certain Jaime Vegas claimed that Hontiveros bribed Veejay Almira, who appeared before the Senate blue ribbon committee last September 24, to testify against Pharmally which is being probed for allegedly overpricing pandemic supplies sold to the government.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to Vegas, Hontiveros only presented the witness as she was seeking to solicit support against President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. Vegas also included the testimony of Almira, who now claims that he was bribed by the senator, in the complaint.

Vegas claimed he is a co-worker of Almira in Pharmally.

FEATURED STORIES

“Lately, Sen. Hontiveros and Atty. Bekema were persuading (the witness) to testify against Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation in exchange for cash amounting to 20,000 pesos and if he refused, he would not get any cash,” Vegas stated in the 15-page complaint.

“The objective of Sen. Hontiveros was to bring the government down by portraying that this government is corrupt and to solicit support from the general public to rise against Duterte Administration,” he added.

But Hontiveros said the complaint is “laughable.”

“Holding public officials accountable is not rising publicly and tumultuously against the government,” the senator said at a press conference on Wednesday.

It can be recalled that Hontiveros’ witness told the Senate panel that he was instructed by Pharmally official Krizle Grace Mago to change the expiration dates of face shields — which Mago eventually confirmed in a bombshell testimony before senators.

But Pharmally subsequently claimed the witness was being bribed by Hontiveros, an allegation the senator vehemently denied.

Witness Almira has previously maintained that Hontiveros did not bribe him to make the damning testimony against Pharmally.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, according to Vegas, Almira was only able to contact Hontiveros through her Facebook page as he sought medical assistance for his child.

“On succeeding days, Veejay showed to us, together with other co-workers, his screenshot of the transaction showing that the office of Senator Risa Hontiveros sent him money through GCash; so we were glad about the matter, that was our initial reactions,” Vegas explained.

“That the reason why Veejay was tempted to falsely, unlawfully, and wrongfully implicate PPI was that he needed the money from Sen Hontiveros’ Office. Veejay needed the Php 20,000 to buy medicine for his sick child,” he added.

Aside from sedition and perjury complaints, Hontiveros was also slapped with complaints for offering false witnesses and for supposedly violating Republic Act No. 6713 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Pharmally remains at the center of the Senate’s investigation on the deficiencies in the Department of Health’s COVID-19 funds last year amounting to P67.32 billion.

This was after the revelation that over P8.6 billion of the funds transferred by DOH to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) went to Pharmally, even if the firm only has a small paid-up capital of P625,000.

READ: P8.7-B med supply deals went to tiny company 

There were also accusations that Pharmally’s pandemic supplies were overpriced, like in the case of face masks which the company sold to the government at over P27 per piece in April 2020, when other companies offered the same item for a price of just P13 apiece. With reports from Christia Marie Ramos

Subscribe to our daily newsletter


Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., Philippine news updates, Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management, PS-DBM, Sedition, Senate, Senate blue ribbon committee, Senator Risa Hontiveros
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.