Senate security says unable to locate, arrest Pharmally's Dargani siblings

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com
Senate security says unable to locate, arrest Pharmally's Dargani siblings
Pharmally executives Mohit Dargani and his sister Twinkle Dargani attend a Senate panel hearing on September 10, 2021.
Screen grab / Senate of the Philippines YouTube page

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate's Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms cannot locate two Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executives who have been cited in contempt and ordered detained by the Blue Ribbon Committee. 

Pharmally corporate secretary and treasurer Mohit Dargani, and his sister, company president Twinkle Dargani, are facing arrest over their refusal to submit documents subpoenaed by the panel. 

"They have not been arrested [nor have they] surrendered so far," retired Maj. Gen. Rene Samonte, Senate sergeant-at-arms, told reporters in Filipino on Wednesday. "As of last night, they were not in [any] of their three addresses."  

He added that staff and security at the condominiums confirmed that the siblings owned the units but that these were locked and were vacant.

Asked if the Darganis may have fled, Samonte said: "No conclusion yet, but possible." 

For weeks, the two Pharmally executives have resisted Senate orders to submit several source documents related to the firm's sales and purchases, citing advice from legal counsel. 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has said these documents are key to assessing whether there was overpricing in Pharmally's deals with the government. 

The firm is the government's top pandemic supplier by far, securing contracts worth P10.4 billion as of last month, according to figures submitted by the Department of Budget and Management to the Senate. 

The issue came to a head when, after weeks of evasion, the accountant who prepared Pharmally's financial statements admitted she never saw the documents in question and was instead shown a list to check. 

Mohit Dargani's unwillingness to submit the documents even after this revelation was the final straw for members of the Senate committee. 

After his detention was ordered along with his sister, Dargani left the room from which he was video conferencing and was not heard from again for the rest of the hearing. 

Pharmally director Linconn Ong has been detained at the Senate for weeks over his refusal to tell the committee how much money Micheal Yang, former economic adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, lent the firm. 

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