Lawyer representing Pharmally’s Dargani siblings used to work for Palace

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com
Lawyer representing Pharmally�s Dargani siblings used to work for Palace
Lawyer Daryl Valles visits his clients, Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executives Mohit Dargani and Twinkle Dargani, at the Senate building on November 16, 2021.
Released / Office of Sen. Richard Gordon

MANILA, Philippines — The chairman of the Senate blue ribbon panel on Wednesday accused one of the lawyers representing Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. execs Mohit and Twinkle Dargani of trying to hide his ties with Malacañang. 

Reelectionist Sen. Richard Gordon was referring to Daryl Ritchie Valles, one of four lawyers named by the Dargani siblings as their legal counsel. The two Pharmally executives are currently detained at the Senate following their failed attempt to flee to Malaysia from Davao City through a private flight.  

Gordon said Valles visited the Darganis on Tuesday which was when the senator's staff discovered that the Office of the President's directory lists him as Director IV at the Office of the Special Assistant to the President. This office was previously held by Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go who is now seeking the presidency. 

When he was first asked by Senate security about this, Gordon said Valles "denied being from Malacañang though he admitted he was from Davao." 

But the senator said Valles later changed his story, confirming that he was the same person listed in the OP directory but also claiming that he resigned from his post in February.

Palace confirms Valles used to work for OP 

Acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles in a statement posted by state media also confirmed that Valles was previously employed by the OP. He said Valles resigned on March 1, 2021. 

"Further inquiries revealed that upon leaving the Office of the President, Atty. Valles thereafter worked in an office under the House of Representatives," Nograles said.   

Gordon's office also sent reporters a screenshot of what appeared to be Valles' Linkedin account where he lists his occupation as "Attorney at Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines."  The same profile was confirmed by Philstar.com but it was taken down sometime before 4:40 p.m. 

Office of Sen. Richard Gordon

'Why lie?' 

"We do not understand why there was a need for the subterfuge, why there was a need to hide an important fact," Gordon said. "Here, the attempt to hide a fact raises more questions as a result." 

“The Darganis are entitled to counsel. That is a right we intend to always honor," he added. "They can hire whichever lawyer their money can buy." 

In a handwritten letter to the blue ribbon committee, the siblings said three other lawyers will serve as their legal counsel along with Valles. Two of them are listed as Don Kapunan and Demetri Felix while the final member of the legal team is still pending. 

The Darganis were cited in contempt and ordered detained by the Senate last month over their continued refusal to submit source documents related to the firm's anomalous transactions with the Department of Budget and Management's procurement service. 

Also detained in the Senate building is Pharmally director Linconn Ong over his refusal to tell senators how much money former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang loaned the firm. 

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