Risa defers to Dick on whether or not Pharmally exec should get temporary freedom

Published February 19, 2022, 12:07 PM

by Mario Casayuran

As a mother and a woman, Senator Risa Hontiveros on Saturday, Feb. 19 said she favors giving Linconn Ong, a detained Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation executive, temporary liberty to visit his dengue-stricken son.

‘’However, I defer to the chair(man), Senator (Richard) Dick (Gordon), with regard to the final decision,’’ the lady lawmaker said.

Through a letter sent to Gordon on Feb. 16, Linconn’s wife, Summer, had asked senators, especially Senate President Vicente Sotto III, for their ‘’understanding and compassion to please consider setting my husband free”.

‘’For humanitarian reasons, but without wavering on or compromising our position regarding his contempt of the Senate, I, as Chairman of the Committee, will allow Mr. Ong fully escorted visits to his son in hospital for a limited time per day on dates to be set by the Committee, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, and authorities of the Pasay City Jail. Each visit shall be jointly supervised by the said authorities,’’ Gordon replied on Friday.

Ong and Mohit Dargani, another Pharmally executive, are at present detained at the Pasay City jail after being cited in contempt by the Gordon committee for refusal or failure to submit corporate documents related to Pharmally’s contracts with Procurement Services, Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

Elections or not, Hontiveros stressed that it is the work of the Senate to determine how the government spent billions of pesos in buying alleged overpriced COVID (coronavirus disease)-related medical supplies from Pharmally in 2020 and 2021.

‘’We should not deflect attention from this fact. While it may be uncomfortable for the Ongs, the Filipino people deserve the truth,’’ stressed the reelectionist solon.

”Kung inosente ang asawa niya, wala siyang dapat ipangamba (If her husband is innocent, she has nothing to fear),’’ she added.