Hontiveros: Who's the 'blessed one' in Pharmally's advanced delivery of face masks?

Published September 18, 2021, 7:51 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday, September 17, pressed an executive of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation to reveal to the Senate Blue Ribbon committee who ordered the allegedly irregular delivery of millions of face masks.

Senator Risa Hontiveros (Senate PRIB/MANILA BULLETIN File photo)

In the committee’s seventh hearing on the government’s use of COVID-19 funds, the senator revealed a message exchange between Pharmally’s regulatory affairs head Krizle Mago and a former employee of the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (DBM-PS), in which Mago inquired if the DBM-PS was aware that they delivered two million pieces of surgical masks.

Honitveros questioned why Pharmally had delivered two million pieces of surgical masks even before the company received a Request for Quotation or a Notice of Award.

In explaining the text exchange, Mago said she was only told to deliver the goods by a certain “boss.”

Asked to reveal who she was referring to, Mago pointed to Pharmally officials Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong. But both Dargani and Ong denied knowledge of the supposed order.

‘’The only logical conclusion is that someone might have underhandedly guaranteed this contract for them even before any documentation was done. Ang tanong: Sino ang pinagpalang ito (Who is the blessed one)?”, Hontiveros asked.

“Nagpadala sila ng two million face masks na hindi pa nga sila nabibigyan ng presyo (They sent two million pieces of face masks even before they were given a price range). The price of masks in the first quarter of 2020 was very volatile. In fact, sabi ng source namin, siya pa ang nag-alala na baka hindi makuha ng Pharmally ang expected nila na price (Our source told us that Pharmally might not get the contract because its price might not be met),” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros then pointed out the correct process for an emergency procurement: issuance of request for proposals, opening of proposals, evaluation, negotiation on the terms of delivery, issuance of resolution recommending the award, issuance of the Notice of Award, and then the Purchase Order.

“Sa kaso ng Pharmally, nauna ang (In the case of Pharmally, the delivered of 500,000 mask delivery came) before notice of award. Nauna ang 500,000 mask delivery before purchase order. Tapos itong 2 million pieces of surgical mask, walang notice of award, walang purchase order, at ni walang request for quotation (In the case of the two million pieces of surgical masks, there was no notice of award, no purchase order and no request for quotation),” Hontiveros said.

‘’Ang nakapagtataka bakit hinayaan ito ng liderato ng PS-DBM? (Why did the PS-DBM leadership allow this?). It seems a very powerful person is keeping our own government on a tight leash,” she raised.

Senator Richard Gordon, earlier in the hearing, revealed that Pharmally executives drive expensive sports cars.