Press Release
November 27, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1183:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on sending Pharmally officials to Pasay City jail


A truly curious, even suspicious, turn of events happened in yesterday's Blue Ribbon Committee hearing. Witnesses Dargani and Ong themselves manifested their willingness to be locked up at the Pasay City Jail.

This, of course, brings us to wonder: why are they willing to suffer the physical and mental indignity of being locked up in a City Jail? Only two possibilities come to mind.

First, they have been reassured by higher authorities that they won't really suffer as much indignity as they fear under the custody of the BJMP.

Second, they are so overwhelmed with fear of reprisal that they would rather be locked up than testify about the whole truth of the Pharmally Scam. After all, it would appear that the money trail does not end with the Pharmally officials. So, have they been made aware in no uncertain terms that what they will suffer at the City Jail is nothing compared to what will be done to them if they start telling the truth and revealing the identities of the Pharmally heist's ultimate beneficiaries?

Or, perhaps, the answer is both.

In any case, there is only one glaring and reverberating fact in this whole scenario: there is still a huge gap in the story that these Pharmally officials are so reluctant to tell, that they are willing to go into hiding, flee from the country and, now, even go to jail for. All these billions were not simply handed over to them by Christopher Lloyd Lao and the DBM-PS by sheer reason that they were suppliers. Some people bigger than the Darganis and Linconn Ong profited from this shameless rape of the nation's coffers in the time of a pandemic.

So, the real question is: who are these people?

Are they the ones that are threatening and/or protecting these Pharmally officials as they show blatant contempt for the Senate?

Are they they ones behind the hiring of one Ferdinand Topacio? Ostensibly to protect the witnesses even by foul means and shameless antics, but perhaps, in reality, to keep the names of the ultimately liable plunderers un-named?

In light of all these unanswered questions, I fully support the decision of the Committee Chairman, Sen. Dick Gordon, and the Committee as a whole, to use the full powers of the Committee and the Senate in going to the very bottom of the 8 billion peso heist, including the power to send the Pharmally officials to Pasay City Jail.

In truth, anyone who cares about accountability in the handling of taxpayer funds, especially during the height of the pandemic, ought to support this search for truth. ###

(Access handwritten version, here:

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