Pay your taxes or go to prison, Duterte warns Pharmally execs | Inquirer News

Pay your taxes or go to prison, Duterte warns Pharmally execs

/ 04:04 AM November 10, 2021

Duterte praises House hearing

President Rodrigo Duterte in his Sept.7, 2021, “Talk to the People.” (File photo by  KING RODRIGUEZ / Presidential Photographers Division)

MANILA, Philippines — Executives of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., which is under Senate investigation for alleged anomalies in its supply contracts with the government,  should pay their taxes or else face the prospect of imprisonment for tax evasion, President Rodrigo Duterte warned on Tuesday during his taped weekly “Talk to the People.”

“Those Pharmally who did not pay [their taxes], they should be made to pay… For all we care, those persons there who did not pay, that’s tax evasion. They can all go to prison. That’s their problem,” Duterte said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino.


“Those in Pharmally who were said to have not paid, put them in prison. If you want, kill them. We don’t care.  If they don’t pay their taxes, they’re criminals,” he added.

Pharmally has been under scrutiny at the Senate for bagging billions worth of government deals, despite having only P625,000 in paid-up capital, to provide medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Recently, the Senate blue ribbon committee that Pharmally had P3.4 billion in “unsupported” purchases in 2020.

READ: ‘Ghost’ expenses? Tax expert says Pharmally has P3.4B in ‘unsupported’ purchases last year

Duterte made the remark as he reiterated that Cabinet officials invited to the Pharmally hearings were busy with the COVID-19 pandemic response.


READ: Duterte issues memo forbidding Cabinet execs from attending Pharmally probe

He pointed out that there was no mention of corruption in the Commission on Audit report on “deficiencies” in the management of COVID-19 funds of the Department of Health.

“There was no overpricing, and yet they continued with the investigation. I said that, for me, my interest really is the government people who are busy with so much work to do,” he said.

Duterte suggested that “as a matter of courtesy,” Cabinet officials be called first since they have government duties.

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In one of the Pharmally hearings, Sen Richard Gordon, who chairs the blue ribbon committee, presented a video of Duterte meeting with Pharmally officials in Davao City in 2017.

READ: Gordon to Duterte: Protect Filipinos, not Pharmally, ‘Davao boys’

TAGS: Rodrigo Duterte

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