Sen. Risa Hontiveros
By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday revealed that President
Rodrigo Duterte had a direct engagement with fugitive Huang Wen Lei,
chairman of Pharmally International, which is the mother company of
local firm Pharmally Pharmaceutical.
The company has bagged over P8.6 billion in contracts so far to
provide the country with health and medical supplies.
The senator shared a 2017 article from Taiwan-based newspaper China
Times about a meeting between Huang Wen Lei and Duterte in Davao.
“May ibang special friendship nanaman ba? Kasi noong 2019 lang
nag-incorporate ang Pharmally sa Pilipinas. Pero nang nagka-COVID
noong 2020 ay sa Pharmally agad ibinigay ang pinakamalaking kontrata.
Ito bang ugnayan na ito ang dahilan kung bakit napakabilis ng
transaksyon ng Pharmally sa gitna ng pandemya?” Hontiveros added.
The English translation of the China Times article states: “Huang Wen
Lei and entrepreneurial shareholder Wang Mingliang and other core
executives visited the Philippines. Duterte made special
arrangements.” They all “met at the Davao Hall and invited the
director of Drug Administration and the Deputy Minister of Health to
attend the meeting.” The article then said that the “closer
cooperation between the two parties” would “create a win-win
In 2017, the director of the Food and Drug Administration was Nela
Puno, whom President Duterte fired in 2019 for corruption allegations.
Puno — along with the President, Huang Wen Lei, and Michael Yang — is
also seen in the photograph that accompanied the China Times article.
Yang, chairman of the Philippine-based Full Win company, also has
close links to another fugitive, Zheng Binqiang, the chairman of
China-based Full Win Group.
Hontiveros said that while Duterte should still be given the benefit
of the doubt, the meeting with the Pharmally boss certainly does not
make him look good.
“That meeting includes a curious cast of characters. Masyado naman
yatang malapit ang Pangulo sa mga taong may tagilid na track record sa
serbisyo. Duterte supposedly has the best and the brightest on his
side. Pero bakit parang malalamya ang katabi nya sa picture na ito?
Wala na ba syang pakialam kung makita siya ng lahat na nakikisalamuha
sa isang taong ‘wanted’?,” the senator said.
“Walang kailangang ikabahala ang mga kawani na nananatiling tapat sa
serbisyo. Kung seryoso ang Pangulo na puksain ang korapsyon sa
gobyerno, hayaan nyang gumulong ang proseso namin sa Senado. Huwag
nyang gawing hobby na ipagtanggol ang Pharmally sa mga press briefings
nya,” Hontiveros concluded. (ai/mtvn)