Lacson questions ties of Dargani lawyer to a congressional office

Published November 26, 2021, 9:30 PM

by Dhel Nazario

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson expressed concern on Friday, Nov. 26 about the involvement of one of the lawyers of the Dargani siblings who was said to be working for a member of the House of Representatives.

Lacson raised this issue on Friday as he bared that Daryl Valles, one of the Dargani siblings’ lawyers, used to work for the Special Assistant to the President until March 1, 2021, quoting the new presidential spokesperson.

“And since then, he’s now connected with the office of a member of the House of Representatives,” Lacson said at the Senate Blue Ribbon panel hearing on the 2020 report of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the budget utilization of the Department of Health (DOH) in the fight against COVID-19.

Pharmally executive Mohit Dargani, who was with his sister Twinkle when both were arrested recently, replied that he believed Valles “was connected with the House of Representatives but he left that job.”

Lacson then asked Dargani if he knew that for a fact, Dargani replied: “I take his (Valles) word for it.”

He added that Valles resigned from the House as of August 2021. .

Lacson said that if Valles is still connected with the House at this time, he is violating Republic Act 6713, the ethical standards for government employees.

Under Section 7, Paragraph (b)(2) of the law, it is unlawful to “engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the Constitution or law, provided that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official functions.”

The law penalizes such violations with imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding P5,000. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon instructed the panel to verify Valles’ status.

“Even if he has limited authority granted by the House Speaker, meron pa ring limitation. Kung government ang kalaban sa kaso, he is not allowed to practice his profession no matter how limited (Even if Valles had limited authority granted by the House Speaker, there is still a limitation. If you will be lawyering against the government, you will not be allowed to practice your profession no matter how limited),” Lacson said.