A top executive of Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. on Friday admitted before the Senate blue ribbon committee to altering the expiry dates on the face shields delivered by the firm to the Department of Health (DoH).
Summoned to the blue ribbon inquiry, Pharmally's Head of the Regulatory Affairs Krizle Grace Mago testified that the tampering was made on instructions from Mohit Dargani, the company's corporate treasurer and secretary.
Dargani denied Mago's allegation. "Mago is used to receiving instructions from me, but in this case, it was not the case," he said.
Earlier in the hearing, Sen. Ana Theresia "Risa" Hontiveros presented a video showing what she described as a Pharmally employee confessing that he and several others were told to change the expiry year on the certificates of the face shields from 2020 to 2021.
"Kahit po yupi-yupi 'yung mga face shield, yupi-yupi na 'yung mga boxes, kahit po may mga dumi, pinapa-repack pa rin po sa amin nina ma'am...although substandard po...kahit naninilaw, kahit basa-basa na po. 'Yung iba po dun, nababasa gawa po ng tulo sa warehouse (Even if the face shields are crumpled, and the boxes are dirty and are not in good shape, we still repacked these. These were substandard items. The foam attached to the face shields had turned yellow from being soaked in rainwater)," narrated the person in the video, who wore a mask.
After repacking the shields, the witness said they would attach a sticker to certify they were "Philippine Government Property."
Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan has moved that the Senate provide Mago with a security detail if she intends to further cooperate with the blue ribbon panel, which has been poring over the 2020 Commission on Audit (CoA) report on Department of Health (DoH) spending related to the government's Covid response.
Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson wants Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd to explain the procurement of 98 ambulances under the DoH's Health Facilities Enhancement Program in 2021.
Lacson believes the ambulances, each bought for P2.4 million, could have been overpriced by at least P1 million.
Lacson said similar ambulances procured by other local government units and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office only cost P1.5 million and P1.58 million, respectively.
"There could only be one conclusion and that is when there's overpricing, there's somebody profiting from it," Lacson said.
Duque assured the committee he would look into the ambulance acquisitions.