Senate fails to serve arrest order vs Dargani siblings

Maris Federez   •   October 27, 2021   •   279

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Sergeant-at-Arms still has not served the arrest order against siblings Mohit and Twinkle Dargani, executives of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.

According to retired General Rene Samonte, Senate personnel once again went to the addresses provided by the Darganis and an informant, but the siblings were nowhere to be found.

Mohit Dargani had earlier issued a statement claiming that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee failed to be  impartial in treating them during the hearing that they attended.

He also accused the Senate panel of using the hearing for political gains as election season nears.

Meanwhile, the Blue Ribbon has issued a subpoena against Pharmally chief accountant Jeff Mariano.

This was after Pharmally’s external auditor, Illuminada Sebial, said in a previous hearing that the company has stopped providing her copies of its sales report that was also subpoenaed by the Committee.

The Blue Ribbon is set to conduct its 13th hearing of the case on Thursday, October 28. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Dargani, Ong to be transferred to Pasay City Jail

Maris Federez   •   November 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III has signed the commitment order for the transfer of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation director Linconn Ong and corporate secretary and treasurer Mohit Dargani to the Pasay City Jail.

The order states that the two executives will be placed under the custody of the Pasay City Jail until they answer the questions of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and submit the documents asked from them by the panel.

At last Friday’s hearing, Dargani said that he no longer has any knowledge on the whereabouts of the boxes containing Pharmally documents since he left for the United States in August. He, however, expressed his willingness to search for the said documents.

Ong and Pharmally’s former Regulatory Affairs Head Krizle Mago also denied knowledge about the said boxes.

“We don’t know where the boxes are, precisely because our house boxes, office boxes, everything is mixed. I want to go back and see what’s happening also,” Dargani said.

However, Senate Sergeant At Arms chief Retired Major General Rene Samonte, in a text message, reported to Blue Ribbon Committee chairperson Richard Gordon that his team was not able to launch the search for the boxes due to Dargani’s refusal to give the needed information.

“Hindi nakaalis kasi ayaw magbigay ng info kung saan pupunta, hindi daw nya alam kung nasaan — office or warehouse or residence. He was told that they can go to all three, pero ayaw pa din,” Samonte’s text message read.

He added that Mohit claimed not knowing whether the said boxes are at the Pharmally head office, in a warehouse, or at their residence.

Samonte also said that Dargani pointed to one of Pharmally’s legal counsel, Attorney Don Kapunan, as the one who knows about the documents.

The Senate official added that he had the Pharmally counsel called up and made the query, in which the lawyer denied any knowledge about the said boxes of documents.

“Ang sabi ni Mohit ay alam daw ni Atty. Kapunan, kaya pinatawagan ko. Muntik na daw mahulog ang lawyer sa upuan, kasi wala daw kaalam alam si Atty. Kapunan kung ano man ang mga documents na yun,” Samonte’s message further read.

“It seems wala talagang boxes and boxes of documents, or ayaw ilabas kung meron man. I recommend ituloy na ang transfer order asap. I will see and talk to them pag may commitment order na to Pasay City Jail,” it continued.

Mohit’s sister, Pharmally president Twinkle Dargani, on the other hand, will stay under the Senate’s custody. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Michael Yang petition before SC, a desperate move — Gordon

Maris Federez   •   November 26, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairperson Richard Gordon believes that the decision of former presidential economic adviser, Michael Yang to file a petition before the Supreme Court is a desperate move following the arrest of some officials of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.

In a statement released Friday (November 26), Gordon said Yang had been caught lying several times in front of the lawmakers in the committee hearings, and that he is now afraid to go out after the arrest of Pharmally executives Linconn Ong, Mohit Dargani, and Twinkle Dargani.

“Maraming beses nang nagsinungaling si Michael Yang sa Senado. Lumalabas na siya’y takot ngayon lumabas ng kanyang tahanan matapos mahuli ang mga kasamahan sa negosyong sina Linconn Ong, at magkapatid na Mojit at Twinkle Dargani,” Gordon said.

The senator also said that Yang’s move is out of desperation to circumvent Blue Ribbon’s investigation on the questionable government procurement of medical supplies from Pharmally.

“Ang pagsampa niya ng kaso sa Korte Suprema ay bahagi ng desperadong tangkang pagpapa-ikot sa Senate Blue Ribbon Committee sa isinasagawa nitong imbestigasyon sa katiwaliang naganap sa gitna ng pandemya,” he said.

Gordon insists that the Blue Ribbon only defends the rights of Filipinos which weigh far greater than the privilege enjoyed by foreigners who live in lies.

“Ipinagtatanggol ng Komite ang karapatan ng mga taumbayan, na higit mas matimbang kaysa sa pribilehiyo ng isang banyagang nabubuhay sa kasinungalingan,” Gordon said.

Yang’s lawyer, Atty. Raymond Fortun earlier said his client will attend the Blue Ribbon Committee’s 15th hearing on the Pharmally issue.

However, Fortun said that Yang wasn’t able to attend the hearing due to an illness. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Lao asks Blue Ribbon to withdraw arrest order

Maris Federez   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Former Department of Budget and Management Usec. Lloyd Christopher Lao has asked the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to withdraw its contempt and arrest order against him.

In a letter dated November 11, 2021, addressed to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon, Lao said he had been actively attending the committee hearings from August 25 to September 30.

He added that he had been truthful in answering the questions thrown at him, with the intention of providing information on the procurements of medical supplies made by the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He, however, lamented the insults and judgments that were cast on him and the way he was treated during the hearings as if he were a criminal devoid of rights.

He claimed to feel that the hearings have turned into a trial instead of just laying down queries in aid of legislation.

Lao further said that he never disrespected the Senate and that he is ready to testify if the committee will change the way it treats him.

Senator Gordon, on the other hand, said in a statement that it was Lao’s non-attendance in the four consecutive hearings that prompted the committee to cite him in contempt.

He said Lao’s non-appearance showed his disrespect to the Senate processes.

“After the citation and an Order of Arrest had been duly issued, you have made yourself even more scarce, exhibiting your lack of respect for legal processes of a duly- constituted authority,” Gordon said.

The lawmaker also insisted that if it is his wish to have the contempt and arrest order against him withdrawn, Lao must submit himself before the Senate Sergeant at Arms the soonest time possible.

“If it is your wish that the Committee acts on your Motion, we suggest that you submit yourself to the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms first at the soonest possible time,” Gordon said.

“In the meantime, the Order of Arrest will continue to subsist and the search for your person will not cease until the Sergeant-at-Arms is able to take you into custody,” he added.

To date, the Senate security team continues searching for Lao to have him under Upper Chamber’s custody.

The Blue Ribbon will conduct the 15th hearing on the issue on Friday, November 26. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)v

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