Senators question Pharmally deliveries, execs' purchase of luxury cars

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 17) – Senators on Friday questioned Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation's deliveries of face masks and COVID-19 test kits, and its officials' purchase of luxury vehicles as the Blue Ribbon Committee continued its probe into the government's use of pandemic response funds.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros presented a text exchange between Pharmally official Krizle Grace Mago and an unnamed source from the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) regarding the delivery of two million face masks.

The source from PS-DBM was surprised at the amount and asked Mago if it was an "advance delivery," to which she said yes.

"Sa kaso po ng Pharmally, batay lang diyan sa isang text exchange na iyan, nauna ang delivery bago notice of award," said Hontiveros, who noted that the delivery was made without a request for quotation as well.

[Translation: In the case of Pharmally, based on this text exchange, we can see the delivery came before the notice of award.]

When asked about the cost of the masks, Mago said she wasn't aware and that she just relied on instructions from the management. Mago also said she talks directly to executives Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong, who were also unable to recall details of the transaction.

RELATED: Senators quiz Pharmally's supposed same-day delivery of 500,000 face masks 

RT-PCR test kits with shorter shelf lives than prescribed specs

Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan also questioned the delivery of BGI real-time fluorescent RT-PCR test kits worth ₱600 million, whose shelf lives were shorter than the specifications provided by the Department of Health (DOH).

"Must be fresh commercial stock with a total shelf life of at least 24 to 36 months pero 'yung inspection reports, nakalagay ang expiry dates ng mga dineliver ay 6 na buwan lang [but the inspection reports state their expiry dates are just 6 months away]," Pangilinan said.

PS-DBM inspector Mervin Tanquintic said "it was determined the kits would be consumed prior the expiration date," citing high demand at that time.

Tanquintic added that it was "acceptable" to the DOH inspection during that period.

"Dahil nga 'yung [Because of the] acute need - global, very limited ang supply - it would have been irresponsible kung di namin tatanggapin kahit na six months kasi alam namin na technically mauubos din po ito [if we didn't accept them even if they would expire in six months since we know technically we'll use them all up anyway]," said Health Secretary Francisco Duque of the delivery.

Pharmally execs' new luxury cars

Meanwhile, Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Sen. Richard Gordon flagged the purchase of new luxury vehicles by some Pharmally officials months after their firm bagged billions of pesos in deals from the government during the pandemic's onset despite having a relatively small capital.

Gordon presented Land Transportation Office records showing Porsche, Lamborghini, and Lexus automobiles registered under Linconn Ong, along with Mohit and Twinkle Dargani.

Ong had a 2021 Lexus RCF under his name with July 9, 2021 as its last registration date, a 2021 Porsche Carrera 4S on February 2, 2021, and a Porsche Cayenne VR6 on May 7, 2021.

Pharmally president Twinkle Dargani has a 2021 Lamborghini Urus with December 7, 2020 as its last registration date while her brother and Pharmally treasurer Mohit has a 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S registered last May 7.

"Talagang nagpapasasa talaga ang mga taong 'to, hindi umano," Gordon said.

[Translation: It appears these people are really living their life to the fullest.]