Ombudsman probe into Pharmally fiasco just the beginning — Hontiveros
MANILA, Philippines — Following the Ombudsman’s decision to place 33 government officials implicated in the Pharmally mess under preventive suspension, Senator Risa Hontiveros said this was merely the beginning on Thursday.
The decision validated the Senate blue ribbon committee’s Pharmally probe during the previous administration.
READ: Ombudsman suspends 33 execs in Pharmally mess
“Bagamat COVID-19 test kits ang saklaw ng Ombudsman order, inaasahan din namin na magbubukas ng imbestigasyon sa isyu ng [personal protective equipments] at iba pang overpriced procurements,” said Hontiveros is a press briefing.
(Even if only COVID-19 kits are under the Ombudsman order, we expect the investigation to open issues of personal protective equipment and other overpriced procurements.)
“Let justice be served. This investigation is just the beginning,” added Hontiveros.
Hontiveros also said that she hopes that the masterminds of the Phramally anomalies will also be rooted out during the Commission on Audit’s special audit.
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, in a statement, lauded the Ombudsman for the decision.
“However, these are just ‘preventive suspensions’ which have a very specific purpose. To prevent those still in public office from influencing the ongoing investigation and case buildup in the meantime. Hence we still have to constantly monitor the [Ombudsman’s] actions and final decision on this matter,” said Pimentel.
According to Pimentel, citing news reports that he has read, the charges had a solid basis.
“Apparently the Ombudsman has found the case to be very serious and the initial evidence credible and sufficient that’s why he ordered the preventive suspension,” said the Senate Minority Leader.
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