Gov't deal with Pharmally okay, says Roque; 'company distinct from personalities'

Published September 2, 2021, 2:49 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque finds nothing wrong with the government’s dealings with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. despite the alleged shady background of a company official in Tony Huang.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Risa Hontiveros (Photos from Facebook, Senate)

“Madam senator, sa batas po (in law), we have a principle that a corporation has a separate personality, separate and distinct from the stockholders,” Roque said during a virtual press briefing on Thursday, Sept. 2.

He was referring to opposition member Senator Risa Hontiveros, who on Wednesday claimed in a privilege speech that Huang, also known as Huang Wen Lie, is “wanted for securities fraud, stock manipulation, and embezzlement” in Taiwan.

She said “fugitive” Huang is the chairman of Pharmally International Holdings, the parent firm of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

“Eh ang nag-bid po, yung korporasyon. Hindi naman po kailangang busisiin talaga yung personalidad sa likod ng korporasyon kasi nga po, separate personality po ‘yun (The one that made the bid was the corporation. There is no need to scrutinize the personalities behind the corporation because it’s a separate personality),” explained Roque, a lawyer and former congressman.

“Siguro po yung identity ng (Maybe the identity of the) bidder would be important if the bidder bidded (sic) in his individual capacity,” he noted.

“Pero ang tinitingnan po natin eh kung yung kumpanyang ‘yun ay blacklisted sa gobyerno dahil hindi nga naka-deliver sa previous transaction o di naman kaya, hindi nagbayad ng buwis (But what we are looking at is whether or not govenrment has blacklisted the company for failing to deliver on a previous transaction or maybe, not paying taxes),” he further said.

Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. was awarded with pandemic response contracts worth nearly P8.68 billion in 2020, or when the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) first emerged in the Philippines.

Another controversial personality with alleged links to Pharmally is Davao businessman Michael Yang. The appropriateness of the Pharmally deals were questioned due to Yang’s past role as President Duterte’s economic adviser.

President Duterte defended Yang earlier this week.