Gordon’s committee says Duterte betrayed public trust photo The Durian Post

Gordon’s committee says Duterte betrayed public trust

Feb 2, 2022, 8:46 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz


The Senate Blue Ribbon committee has released a draft report on its 18 virtual hearings on the anomalous transaction between the government and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., which was awarded supply contract for P42 billion by the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service for pandemic supplies that were found overpriced, substandard and worse, not delivered. The draft must be signed by 11 of 20 panel members.

The Blue Ribbon Committee, chaired by Senator Richard Gordon who held 18 hybrid hearings on the anomalous award of P42 billion for pandemic supplies to Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., said President Duterte betrayed public trust in appointing Davao-based businessman Michael Yang, a Chinese, as presidential economic adviser.

Yang has been linked by Senate probers to Pharmally, but in several hearings Yang said his only role was to introduce Pharmally executives to some Chinese suppliers, according to a Business Mirror report.

The draft report pins accountability as well on Duterte for the government’s acceptance of a pandemic supplier that is undercapitalized and owned by a fugitive Taiwanese businessman; for his apparent moves to discredit the Commission on Audit and the Senate; for barring officials of the Executive branch from attending Senate hearings and failing to hold liable those involved in pandemic supply anomalies.

The President’s actions leave the Senate probers concluding that he knew, allowed, and tolerated the anomalies involving his close associates and appointees.

The Gordon committee released a draft partial report finding liable several public officials led by President Duterte and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and recommending criminal charges against executives of pandemic supplies contractor Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp.

The draft being circulated among BRC members said Duque III and former budget undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao, who is in hiding to evade Senate summons, had allowed billions of public funds to be wasted at a time lawmakers and government agencies were scrounging for resources to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lao, as head of the Department of Budget and Management- Procurement Service, presided over the biddings for pandemic supplies like face masks, shields and testing kits after the DOH under Duque transferred in bulk P42 billion in the department’s pandemic budget to PS-DBM.

Minority senators, especially Sen. Risa Hontiveros, have argued that the biddings presided over by Lao resulted in overpriced and substandard supplies.

Besides Lao, the committee recommended charges against Lao’s former colleague in PS-DBM, Warren Liong, now the overall deputy ombudsman.

The draft report recommended plunder charges be filed against Duque, Lao, Liong; Yang, and Pharmally executives Linconn Ong, Mohit Dargani, Twinkle Dargani, Huwang Tzu Yen, Krizle Grace Mago and Lin Weixiong, who is said to be in Dubai.

Besides fraud against the public treasury, Lao, Liong and Pharmally officials should be prosecuted for violations of the Antigraft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Government Procurement Act, said the report.

Other recommended charges:

Falsification of public documents against Jorge Mendoza and Mervin Tanquintic, the PS-DBM officials who admitted signing inspection reports for PPEs they did not inspect and which had not been delivered.

Perjury against Yang, and Pharmally official Rose Nono Lin, wife of Lin Weixiong.

The report sought the deportation of Yang, Lin Weixiong and Qing Jin Ke, the marketing director of Tigerphil that supplied face masks to Pharmally.

The draft report will be deemed official once the committee once signed by 11 of 20 panel members, including the chairman and ex-officio members.

Tags: #SenateBlueRibbonCommitteedraft, #DuterteandDuqueimplicated, #Pharmally, #corruption

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