Press Release
September 9, 2021

De Lima: Duterte has no credibility unless he discloses his SALN

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima maintains that Mr. Duterte could never gain any credibility in his defense of the anomalies behind Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation until and unless he publicly discloses his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) which he refuses to do.

"Duterte continues to hide his SALN from the people. That SALN could be hiding billions by now, but we cannot know because Duterte's appointed Ombudsman cares more about protecting corrupt public officials than the public coffers," she said.

"As long as Duterte hides his SALN, he cannot prove to the public that the billions awarded to his Chinese cronies did not also find their way into his bank accounts," she added.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has been probing the Department of Health's (DOH) pandemic funds following a Commission on Audit (COA) report that cited the deficient use of the funds in 2020 that could have bolstered the Duterte government's response to the COVID-19 crisis.

A Senate hearing last August revealed that the bulk of the pandemic contracts went to Pharmally, a small company whose offices can no longer be located and that has been the government's biggest provider of medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duterte already admitted links to all persons involved in the anomalous transactions, including his former economic adviser, Chinese businessman Michael Yang, and ex-Budget Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao.

De Lima stressed that the chain of corruption in the Pharmally scandal is not rocket science, noting that billions were awarded to Duterte's cronies.

"Assuming even that the PPEs purchased were not overpriced, the fact that a firm close to the President has bagged the contracts already creates a presumption of undue favors given to Pharmally," she said.

The lady Senator from Bicol even likened the situation with Pharmally to that of Sen. Bong Go whose family got billions in government contracts.

"Apparently, plunder and Kleptocracy run in the President's official family, and the Senate and COA are the only institutions still making it hard for them in getting away with their plundered loot," De Lima said.

"Paano pa kaya nakakatulog ang mga mandarambong na ito sa gitna ng pagnakaw nila sa pondong panlaban sana sa pandemya, habang patuloy na nagugutom at namamatay ang mga Pilipino? Wala na talagang sasama pa sa mga taong ito!," she added.

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