Duterte is the mastermind in P8.6-B ‘Pharmally heist’—De Lima

Published September 1, 2021, 4:44 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday expressed belief that President Duterte is the mastermind behind the awarding of the P8.7-billion contract to Pharmally Corp.

De Lima said this is evident following Duterte’s own admission of his links to all the persons involved in the transactions, including his former economic adviser, Michael Yang, whom he staunchly defends against the Senate blue ribbon committee’s scrutiny.

“I do not know what else the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee can dig up on the identity of the mastermind behind the 42 billion DOH-to-DBM transfer and almost 9 billion in contracts awarded to Pharmally Corporation, after Duterte already admitted all links to all persons involved in the anomalous transactions,” De Lima said in her latest statement.

“Apparently, the mastermind behind the 8.6 billion Pharmally heist is none other than Duterte himself,” she added.

The senator said this could be the reason why Duterte is evasive, and won’t reveal his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).

“Maybe the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) can enlighten us on the covered and suspicious transactions that are most likely identified in Duterte’s bank accounts since the start of the pandemic and shed light on the utterly corrupted nature of the being who is Rodrigo Duterte,” she pointed out.

She further said ex-budget undersecretary Christopher Lao’s smugness and overbearing confidence in the Senate blue ribbon hearings is due to his being a fraternity brother, campaign team leader and trusted Davao lawyer to the President.

Lao is the former undersecretary at the Department of Budget Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS) who awarded the deal to Pharmally as head of the DBM-PS.

“That is why Lao had no problem making the rounds in high government offices (PMS Undersecretary, HLURB CEO) before settling as DBM Undersecretary,” she said.

“With this whole picture gratuitously drawn for us by Duterte, the Senate blue ribbon committee now does not even need to connect Sen. Bong Go to this whole corruption network involving Duque, Christopher Lao, Michael Yang, Pharmally, and Duterte,” she stressed.