Ex-procurement chief Lao still in PH — Senate security
MANILA, Philippines — Former Budget Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao is still in the Philippines, the head of the Senate’s security team said on Monday.
According to Senate Sergeant at Arms Rene Samonte, efforts are being done to continuously gather information on Lao, the former the chief of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).
“Nandito pa naman sya sa bansa (He’s still in the country). We will exert efforts for his arrest,” Samonte said in a text message to reporters on Monday.
“From all indications, we believe he is still in the country,” he added in a separate text message.
The Senate’s security had already sent an arresting team to Lao’s known addresses in Cebu and Davao but failed to capture him.
Lao has been cited in contempt by the Senate blue ribbon committee and ordered arrested for skipping its ongoing investigation into allegedly anomalous purchase of government’s pandemic response supplies.
The probe particularly centered into the Department of Health’s transfer of P42 billion to PS-DBM where a huge chunk of the budget supposedly went to Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp when it only had a paid up capital of P625,000.
Senators, meanwhile, were all praises for the Senate’s Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms after arresting Pharmally executives Twinkle Dargani and her brother Mohit Dargani in Davao City as they were about to flee to Malaysia on Sunday afternoon.
“Our OSAA people deserve our praises for doing their job well,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said in a text message.
“Our Sgt-at-Arms, retired Major General Rene Samonte is definitely not sleeping on his job. They deserve commendations from the Filipino people,” he added, in a separate text message.
Aside from commending the OSAA, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan also gave the Senate leadership a “thumbs up” for promoting its independence.
“Good job sa OSAA sa mabilis na aksyon laban sa mga nagtapon ng pera ng Covid funds para ipambili ng Lamborghini at Ferrari,” Pangilinan said.
“Thumbs-up din sa leadership ni Senate President Sotto para sa pagtataguyod sa Senado bilang isang independent at co-equal branch,” he added.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
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.