By Ernie Reyes
MANILA – The apparent conspiracy involving the company Pharmally and
some government officials have cost billions of public funds, loss of
jobs and lives, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said Friday.
“Napakalungkot dahil nga habang maraming namamatay, nagkakasakit, at
walang maliwanag o sustained na support sa ating frontliners, eto ang
nangyayari,” Pangilinan said in a media interview.
“Clearly, there was a conspiracy to defraud the government of billions of
pesos worth of COVID funds,” he said.
The opposition leader and aspiring vice president highlighted the many
criminal charges Pharmally executives and government conspirators will
have to face following the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation.
The Senate committee earlier this week released its preliminary report
recommending charges versus Michael Yang, Pharmally executives, and
officials from the Department of Budget and Management Procurement
“Unang-una, ang ating mga batas sa procurement, hindi sinunod.
Violation of our procurement laws, even Bayanihan I and Bayanihan II
laws. Anti-graft laws din and plunder cases kasi giving unwarranted
benefits sa isang kompanya that has caused injury to the government,”
Pangilinan said, noting also criminal negligence for testing kits that
have expired in storage.
“Nag-expire sa kanilang mga storage facilities habang kulang na kulang
ang testing. Ginastos natin ang kalahating bilyon tapos tinapon lang
natin dahil nag-expire na,” he said.
It was Pangilinan who revealed purchases of testing kits that were
left to expire or were purchased near-expiry in direct violation of
PS-DBM’s own technical requirements.
These deals potentially cost the public P1.25 billion by paying in
full for COVID test kits that are near-expiry, and P550 million for
test kits that have expired.
With local jobs lost reaching 25,000 by failing to support local
manufacturing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), Pangilinan said
that the government has favored Pharmally over and above.
“Mga kompanyang foreign na para bagang showing that they are above
Philippine laws by refusing or failing to pay taxes sa mga transaction
nila. Ni walang permit to operate at wala nang business permit… Inuna
yung mga foreigners, yung imported na mga produkto kesa sa mga local,”
While Malacanang continues to deny allegations of overpricing and
violation of contracts, the Commission on Audit launched a special
audit on the government deals with Pharmally.
As of October 21, COVID death toll has reached 41,237. (ai/mtvn)