Gordon says Pharmally exec's admission of tampering of face shield quality already 'damaging'

Published September 25, 2021, 7:12 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The admission of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation regulatory affairs head Krizle Mago has already “damaged” the company’s denial of irregularities in their dealings with the Philippine government amid the pandemic, Senator Richard Gordon said Saturday, September 25.

Senator Richard Gordon addresses members of the media in an online briefing on August 24, 2021. (MANILA BULLETIN Screencapture)

Gordon said that even if Mago would reject the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s offer of protection, “what she said [was] already damaging”.

“Kahit na ‘di siya lumabas, sinabi niya na ‘yon eh. Damaging na ‘yon (Even if she does not come forward, she already made an admission. That’s already damaging),” the committee chairperson said in an interview over radio DWIZ.

Mago on Friday, September 24, confessed to changing the production dates of the face shields that Pharmally had supplied to the Department of Health (DOH), as revealed by a Senate witness who supposedly worked in their warehouse.

The witness also alleged that Pharmally had instructed workers to repack old stocks of face shields, including dented, dirty, and “substandard” pieces, for the use health care workers.

Asked by Gordon if the firm was “swindling the government”, Mago replied: “I believe so.”

Members of the Senate panel had offered to place the Pharmally employee under the chamber’s protection, in exchange of the latter divulging the “whole truth” in their investigation on the government’s pandemic purchases.

Mago, who committed to cooperate with them, has yet to reach out for protection, Gordon said.

He said the resource person’s testimonies will be substantial since she possesses documents on Pharmally’s transactions with the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (DBM-PS).

“A falsity in one is the falsity of all,” said the senator, who is also a lawyer.

Meanwhile, Gordon refused to disclose whether or not Pharmally director Linconn Ong has been transferred to the Pasay City Jail, citing security concerns.

But information reaching reporters said that Ong is still in the Senate’s custody as of Saturday.

Ong was cited for contempt for evading questions about their company’s financial capacity, even as he previously admitted asking Chinese businessman Michael Yang’s help to finance some of their medical supply orders.

Yang was President Duterte’s economic adviser.

“Hindi ko sasabihin saan siya nakakulong ngayon, ang lakas-lakas ng loob ng mga kasama nito eh. Eh kung dakmain siya (I won’t divulge where he is detained right now, because his colleagues are powerful. What if they abduct him)?” Gordon explained.

“Pwede siyang tusukin doon (Something might happen to him),” he added.

Gordon said Ong is also a potential witness in their inquiry.