Lacson: No one in the Pharmally mess is untouchable

Published November 15, 2021, 11:55 AM

by Mario Casayuran

‘’No one in the Pharmally mess is untouchable’’. ‘’Flight, especially on an expensive international chartered jet, is truly a clear sign of guilt’’.

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, a presidential aspirant, and Senator Richard J, Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, issued these statements following the arrest of the Dargani siblings in Davao city yesterday.

Lacson, chairman of the Senate National Defense and Security, said the arrest of Mohit and Twinkle Dargani, both Pharmally Pharmaceutical corporation executives, yesterday (Nov. 14) by the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms (OSAA) personnel shows there is no such thing as a safe haven – not even Davao City.

“Kung inaakala ng magkapatid na Dargani na safe haven ang Davao City, just like Michael Yang and Christopher Lao are thinking, they should think again. There is no such thing as a safe haven on earth (If the Darganis thought Davao City is a safe haven just like Michael Yang and Christopher Lao, they should think again. There’s no such thing as a safe haven),” he said.

OSAA personnel arrested the Darganis before they were to take a flight abroad on Sunday. Still at large are former Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service OIC Christopher Lao and former presidential adviser Michael Yang.

“There’s no safe haven on earth, even for people like Yang, Lao, and the Dargani siblings. Davao City is not a haven. They should stop thinking di sila magalaw doon (they all not be touched there). As what was proven yesterday, they are now in the Senate premises. They will be ‘forced’ to attend the Nov. 25 Blue Ribbon hearing,” he said in an interview on ANC.

He added the OSAA led by retired Maj. Gen. Rene Samonte “deserves commendation from the senators and the Filipino people as well.”

Gordon said that ‘’once again, it is very obvious that Pharmally executives Mohit and Twinkle Dargani were trying to abscond from any liabilities in the alleged anomalous deals they entered with the government in the procurement of COVID-19 medical supplies.’’

In a statement, Gordon said: ‘’In the past few weeks, the Senate has been scouring possible hideouts of the Darganis after they were cited in contempt and ordered to be arrested for refusing to submit documents the Senate needed in its investigation.

‘’We recalled that Mojit Dargani had two passports – one from Philippines and one from another country as he has admitted during our public hearing. We knew they were hatching their grand escape via the back door.

‘’Yesterday afternoon at around 5PM, acting on a tip we received from concerned citizens, they were apprehended by a team of the Senate Sergeant-at-arms when they were about to flee via an executive privately chartered flight to Malaysia.

‘’It is, however, not surprising that they sought sanctuary in the President’s home town of Davao and plotted to execute their grand escape from there. Indeed, they chartered a private plane and were leaving via Davao where they figured they could be safe and make law enforcement officers pause or hesitate to arrest them.

‘’Flight, especially on an expensive international chartered jet, is truly a clear sign of guilt. Evasion has always been the strategy of the guilty. This should also apply to former PS-DBM Undersecretary Lao who has also been evading arrest.

‘’We thank Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III who called me last night and made arrangements for a private plane to take the Dargani siblings back to Manila. We also commend Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Rene Samonte and his men for doing their job well in protecting the Senate’s enforcement of its rules.

‘’But our task is not yet complete. The Darganis will be detained at the Senate until they tell the Filipino people the whole truth. We hope they will be more forthright in answering our questions in the next hearing on Nov. 26.