Hontiveros to Mago: 'The greatest pressure is to lie'

Published October 4, 2021, 4:08 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday Oct. 4 said she is sad that Ms Mago, a key witness in the Procurement Service Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) multi-billion-peso medical supply contracts, claimed that senators pressured her into testifying against Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.

‘’Pressured response? It is sad that Ms Mago feels this way. Telling the truth is a relief. The greatest pressure is to lie,’’ she said.

After refusing an offer of the Senate to place her under its protection, Ms Mago ‘’surrendered’’ last weekend to the House of Representative where she testified today.

‘’Ngunit naniniwala akong lalabas at lalabas ang katotohanan. Sana lang, sa huli, manaig ang kanyang konsensya (I believe that truth will eventually come out, I hope that her conscience will prevail),’’ she said.

Hontiveros stressed that Ms Mago was under oath when she was speaking before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing and ‘’questions were only directed to her and she, in fact, answered forthrightly.’’

‘’Kung mayroon mang nagpe-pressure sa kanya, yan siguro ay isang napakamakapangyarihang pwersa para lang bawiin ang kanyang mga naunang sinabi sa amin (If there was pressure exerted, it would be the most powerful influencer for her to retract her statement before us),’’ she said.

Hontiveros then recalled the Senate transcripts and the video hearing where Ms Mago testified that they changed the production certificates of medical supplies.

‘’She even said, ‘that’s something I cannot deny.’ Itinuro pa nga nya si Mohit Dargan (She even pointed to Mohit Dargani), saying she was ‘only following instructions’,’’ Hontiveros added.

‘’Ikalawa, nung tinanong sya (second, when asked) if Pharmally is ‘swindling government,’ she said, and I quote, ‘I believe so’,’’ she pointed out.