Sotto: Detained Pharmally execs will be freed on June 3

Published May 17, 2022, 9:24 AM

by Mario Casayuran

The two detained Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation executives are expected to be freed from jail on June 3, the ‘sine die’ adjournment of Congress.

This is because the contempt charge slapped by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee against the two shall have been extinguished, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III told Senate reporters.

The two – Mohit Dargani, corporate secretary and treasurer, and Linconn Ong, director – have been detained at the Pasay City jail since November for their refusal or failure to provide the Senate committee with the financial documents of Pharmally on its contract with the Procurement Service, Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

Senator Richard J, Gordon, committee chairman, and Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon stated that there was alleged overpricing in Pharmally’s more than P10 billion contract to provide PS-DBM with Covid-19 medical supplies.

During the several committee hearings, Drilon questioned why Pharmally was able to bag billions of pesos worth of contracts when its paid-up capital was just more than P600,000.

Earlier, Donn Rico Kapunan, lawyer of Dargani and Ong, filed ‘’reiterative motions’’ before the committee for the release and house arrest of the two.

Kapunan said Ong had already suffered immensely because of his incarceration at the pitiful Pasay City Jail along with common criminals for a more than four months to date without the benefit of a court trial, as well as being separated from his wife and child for the same period.

“It is in this light that Mr. Ong now pleads for mercy and compassion from the Honorable Members of this Committee to kindly allow him to be released forthwith and/or undergo house arrest for him to be able to be with his family,” the Kapunan motion read.

On the part of Dargani, his lawyer lamented that his continued detention had already caused his family “immeasurable suffering.”

“Despite the fact that the denial of his most precious right to liberty was brought about by the Senate’s exercise of contempt powers (not through a judgment from the Courts), Mohit and his family had already been unfairly condemned by the public as ‘thieves,’ ‘liars’ and ‘plunderers’ without trial,” read the separate motion.

According to his lawyer, Dargani’s “unfortunate circumstance had also brought forth a grave amount of shame and humiliation” to his family.

“To this, undersigned counsel begs for this Honorable Committee’s humanity and compassion not to allow any more suffering than necessary in the exercise of its immense powers,” the motion read

“Mohit now truly understands and recognizes the majesty of the Senate as a co-equal branch of the Government to which he sincerely apologizes for any misgivings he had brought about to the committee,’’ the motion added.