Gordon: Dargani lawyer lied about his connection with Malacañang

Published November 17, 2021, 5:59 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Richard Gordon on Wednesday, Nov 17 scored Daryl Ritchie Valles, who stood as counsel of detained Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation executives Mohit and Twinkle Dargani, for lying about his connection with Malacañang.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which is currently investigating the questionable contract between the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Services (DBM-PS) and Pharmally, said Valles attempted to hide the fact he is a director at the Office of the Special Assistant to the President.

That position, Gordon pointed out, was then occupied by Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go. Go is now running for president in the upcoming May 2022 elections.

The Darganis have been detained at the Senate premises since Monday after they were arrested at the Davao City International Airport where they were caught trying to flee the country via a chartered flight. They were cited in contempt by the Senate for their refusal to hand over pertinent documents pertaining to the alleged procurement of overpriced COVID-19 pandemic supplies which the panel is also investigating.

“Before he was allowed entry, we looked into who he was and we found out that per Office of the President directory, he is a Director IV at the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, the position then occupied by Senator Bong Go,” Gordon said in a statement.

“He denied being from Malacañang though he admitted he was from Davao,” said Gordon.

Gordon added that before Valles left the Senate premises after his visit to the Darganis, he was again asked by the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms (OSAA) whether he was the same person connected with Malacañang.

Valles finally admitted he was but claimed he already resigned from his post last February.

“We do not understand why there was a need for the subterfuge, why there was a need to hide an important fact. Here, the attempt to hide a fact raises more questions as a result,” said Gordon.

“The Darganis are entitled to counsel. That is a right we intend to always honor. They can hire whichever lawyer their money can buy,” he pointed out.

Sought to comment, Go said he has long resigned as Special Assistant to the President in 2018 and is no longer connected to the people working there since he became a senator.

“Nabalitaan ko na nagresign na yang tinutukoy na si Atty. Daryl Valles sa Office of the President noon pa at naka-ilang lipat na ng pinagtatrabahuhan (I learned that Atty Valles from the Office of the President they were saying had already resigned and had been employed in different companies),” Go said.

“This can be confirmed by Palace officials or Atty. Valles himself,” he stressed.

Go reiterated that those involved in the anomalies in the misuse of COVID-19 funds should be charged and prosecuted as soon as possible.

“Katulad ng paulit-ulit na sinasabi namin ni PRRD (President Duterte) na kung may kasalanan, dapat hulihin, kasuhan at panagutin agad (Like what I and President Duterte have been saying, if they are found guilty, they should be arrested, charged and prosecuted immediately),” Go said.