Filipinos lose as Pharmally report fails to get Senate’s nod
Senator Richard J. Gordon on Friday said that the Filipino people got shortchanged as the draft committee report on Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation failed to reach discussion on the Upper House plenary.
Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, lamented the fact that some senators refused to sign the report as the report involved Pres. Duterte.
“Puwede nilang sabihin, ‘I dissent,’ ‘I disagree,’ o ‘I will interpellate’ dahil dadalhin ‘yan sa plenary ‘pag pumasa para pag-usapan,” remarked Gordon during a radio interview.
“Tapos sasabihin nila, magre-reserve sila, mag-interpellate ako o ‘di kaya, will amend. Ang naging problema, walang nag-ganoon. ‘Halimbawa, si Risa Hontiveros, will interpellate o si [Ralph] Recto, sabi niya, will amend. Ganoon [dapat,]” he added.
As of writing time, only nine senators, including Gordon, have signed the partial committee report, two short of being able to be discussed in the plenary.
Instead, Gordon made a privilege speech last May 31, inserting the whole report into the records of the Senate.
He also called on his fellow lawmakers to let their countrymen know their stand on the issue, as it is their inherent right to know the opinion of their elected officials.
Before the move, Gordon also revealed that he wrote to every senator, urging them to sign, and settle their apprehensions during the plenary sessions.
“[B]ago ko ginawa ‘yang [privilege speech,] sinulatan ko ang mga senador. Ang importante ay malaman ng publiko itong report at mapag-usapan sa plenary,’” mentioned Gordon.
Pharmally, which is directly linked to former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang, was revealed to have questionable legal, financial, and technical capabilities, having only Php 625,000 in capital.
Despite its shortcomings, it was able to enter a multi-billion peso deal with the Procurement Service of the Dept. of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) in record time.
Some of its officers, namely Twinkle and Mohit Dargani, were apprehended in Davao last November for attempting to flee the country.
The male Dargani and Linconn Ong were ordered incarcerated by the Senate for criminal contempt, as they refused to cooperate with the Blue Ribbon panel.
Its former officers-in-charge. Christopher Lloyd Lao and Warren Rex Liong, were appointees of Pres. Duterte.