Senate panel to recommend charges over Pharmally deals

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com
Senate panel to recommend charges over Pharmally deals
Michael Yang attends a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on September 10, 2021 through videoconference. Playing to the left is a video of him and President Rodrigo Duterte during a 2017 meeting with executives of the controversial Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation in Davao City.
Screengrab / Senate of the Philippines Youtube page

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will endorse to the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman charges against several individuals involved in the government's anomalous deals with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. 

The panel's chairman, Sen. Richard Gordon, bared the recommended charges in a hearing held Tuesday. He said they were included in the committee's preliminary report on its findings after 11 hearings on the alleged deficiencies in pandemic spending first flagged by state auditors.  

However, the preliminary report is still up for deliberation among senators, Gordon's office told Philstar.com.  

The filing of several cases is recommended against President Rodrigo Duterte's appointees, including his former economic adviser Michael Yang and former chief of the Department of Budget and Management's procurement service Lloyd Christopher Lao. 

Yang was identified by Pharmally as its financier and guarantor to Chinese suppliers despite his earlier attempts to deny any connection with the firm after a 2017 meeting with its executives and Duterte in Davao City.

Meanwhile, Lao signed off on awarding contracts worth billions to Pharmally in 2020 — a firm that had incorporated just a year prior with a capital of just P625,000. He also used to work as Duterte's election lawyer. 

Pharmally is by far the government's most favored pandemic supplier, clinching contracts worth at least P10 billion so far. Senators estimate the value of its deals with the government could be as high as P12 billion.  

Here are the charges to be recommended, according to Gordon: 

  • Filing of cases to support deportation of an undesirable alien 
    • Michael Yang 

  • Violation of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, paragraphs (e) and (g)

    • Lloyd Christopher Lao

    • Michael Yang 

    • Pharmally directors and officers

    • Overall Deputy Ombudsman Warren Rex Liong (former PS-DBM director) 

  • Estafa, Art. 315 of the Revised Penal Code:
    • Pharmally corporate representative Krizle Grace Mago

    • Pharmally corporate secretary and treasure Mohit Dargani

  • Fraud Against the Public Treasury and Similar Offenses, Art. 213, Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 10951:

    • Lloyd Christopher Lao 

    • Warren Rex Liong 

  • Perjury/False Testimony, under Art. 183, Revised Penal Code:

    • Michael Yang

    • Krizle Grace Mago

    • Pharmally director Linconn Ong

  • Falsification of Public Documents, under Art. 171 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 10951:

    • Jorge L. Mendoza (former chief of PS-DBM inspection division) 

    • Mervin Ian D. Tanquintic (PS-DBM inspector) 

    • Warren Liong

  • Disobedience to Summons Issued by Congress, under Art. 150, Revised Penal Code:

    • Krizle Grace Mago 

    • Michael Yang

    • Mohit Dargani 

  • Violation of Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act No. 11469, Sec. 6(c): 

    • Krizle Grace Mago

    • Linconn Ong

    • Michael Yang

    • Mohit Dargani

  • Disobedience to Summons Issued by Congress, under Art. 150, Revised Penal Code

    • Linconn Ong

    • Michael Yang

    • Mohit Dargani

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