Press Release
August 28, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1135:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Statement on the Anomalous 8 Billion Peso PPE Contract

Several facts were quickly unraveled at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing yesterday.

At first, former DBM PS Director Lloyd Christopher Lao denied that he ever worked for Sen. Bong Go, and that he never met the owner of Pharmally Corporation, Huang Wenlie, to whom he awarded an 8 Billion peso contract for PPEs. It turns out that he, in fact, worked for Go's Office of the Special Assistant to the President, and was present when Huang Wenlie and Michael Yang met with none other than Duterte and Sen. Go in 2017.

The 8 Billion pesos was part of the 42 Billion peso anti-COVID fund channeled by Duque to the DBM-PS for disposition. The very first question answered, therefore, was why would Duque transfer the responsibility in the procurement of medical supplies for which the DOH has the expertise to the DBM-PS under Lao? Apparently, simply because Lao is directly connected to the Davao Mafia led by Duterte and Go.

Before being posted to the DBM, Lao has already made the rounds in other high government offices. He was appointed Undersecretary of the PMS under Go's Office of the Special Assistant to the President, HLURB Commissioner, then, finally, DBM Undersecretary and DBM-PS Director. At one time, he also applied for the position of Overall Deputy Ombudsman. Lao, it seems, is not your average well-connected guy, to be able to land all these plum government positions. He is, in all probability, one of the go-to operators and hatchetmen of the Davao Mafia led by Sen. Go and the President himself.

It does not take rocket science to figure out what happened in this transaction.

Step 1) Duque channeled the 42 Billion in DOH funds to Lao, who, in turn, directly reports to the Davao Mafia.

Step 2) The Davao Mafia, in turn, causes the awarding of the 8 Billion peso PPE contract through Lao to one of their Chinese buddies, Huang Wenlie, owner of Pharmally Corporation.

Step 3) The Davao boys are all happy.

Duterte's announcement that the Senate investigation will turn out nothing is, therefore, premature, to say the least, and apparently for the self-serving purpose of sweeping all evidence of corruption under the rug. With one more hearing to go, several officials from the DBM and the DOH are still expected to be on the dock, unless the Davao Mafia silences them before they do.

Duterte even has the gall to accuse me and Sec. Mar Roxas of corruption, when apparently it is he and his Davao Mafia whose dirty fingerprints are all over the DOH-DBM anomalous transactions.

Bilyones na dapat sana ay napunta sa pagtaguyod ng buhay, kaligtasan at kapakanan ng mga front liners at ng mga naghihirap nating mga kababayan at nakuha pang ibulsa ng mga gahaman. Imbis na makatulong sa ekonomiya at kabuhayan ng mga Pilipino, nasikmura pa nilang nakawan ang taumbayan.

This is the reason why Duterte can never publicly disclose his SALN. Bilyones pala ang bukol sa SALN niya.

(Access the copy of the handwritten version, here:

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