Press Release
October 6, 2021

Duterte using political machinery to tamper with witnesses on Senate Pharmally probe - De Lima

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima cried foul over the Duterte administration's move to tamper with witnesses following Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executive Krizle Grace Magno's recantation of her explosive Senate testimony at the House of Representatives last October 4.

De Lima said the recantation of Mago's testimony is just another failed attempt at frustrating the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's investigation on the irregularities in the COVID-19 related purchases of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

"In truth, it is not unexpected. The hearings conducted by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee these past few weeks have been nothing but informative and illuminating," she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1156.

"Thus, it is, of course, not surprising that those at the wrong end of this huge exposé will attempt to throw a monkey wrench at the process. Hindi ba ganyan din nila sinubukang sabutahehin ang ilang mga pandinig sa Senado tulad ng imbestigasyon sa EJKs? Lumang tugtugin," she added.

During the recent hearing of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, Mago claimed that her previous revelation that Pharmally was swindling the government when it sold damaged medical-grade face shields was a "pressured response."

Likewise, contrary to her previous statement, Mago now denied the statement of the Pharmally warehouse employee saying that the face shields delivered to the Duterte government were expired or "substandard."

It may be recalled that Mago earlier told Senators that Pharmally might have "swindled" the government when it changed the expiration dates on the face shields it delivered, and also confirmed the claim of a Pharmally warehouse employee that they were ordered to replace the certificates of face shields dated 2020 with new certificates dated 2021.

"Malinaw na malinaw sa mga ginawang pagdinig na napakaraming iregularidad sa pagbibigay ng bilyun-bilyong pisong kontrata sa Pharmally," said De Lima, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development.

The lady Senator from Bicol said Duterte is now using his political machinery to attack the Senate investigators, the Senators, and even tamper with the witnesses.

"Malinaw ang naging testimonya ni Ms. Mago sa Senado. Spontaneous at hindi pinilit. Corroborated din ng ibang witness at transcript ng mga text messages niya ang kaniyang mga naging pahayag."

"Ngayon, kung tatangkain niyang baligtarin ang kanyang malinaw na testimonyang suportado ng ibang ebidensya, kailangan niyang patunayan na totoo ang pagbawi niya ng kaniyang testimonya," she said.

"There is no doubt that the Filipino people are prejudiced by the irregular transactions and undue partiality given to Pharmally and its apparent benefactor, Michael Yang," she added.

Worse, De Lima said the Philippines now has no President as "Duterte is busy lawyering for Michael Yang and Pharmally and campaigning for his VP candidate."

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