Blue Ribbon orders arrest of Rose Nono Lin, 4 others for skipping hearings on Pharmally deals

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Blue Ribbon orders arrest of Rose Nono Lin, 4 others for skipping hearings on Pharmally deals
Rose Nono Lin in this picture from her Facebook page on Oct. 7, 2021.
(Photo from Facebook / Ate Rose Lin)

MANILA, Philippines — A Senate panel on Thursday ordered the arrest of five individuals, including congressional aspirant Rose Nono Lin, for consistently failing to appear in hearings related to the multibillion-peso deal between Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. and the budget department. 

Lin is a stockholder of a company linked to Pharmally, which is at the center of hearings into the government's pandemic spending. She did not attend the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's 18th hearing, with her lawyers saying that she contracted COVID-19 and is experiencing gastric illnesses. 

Arrest warrants will also be issued for Sophia Custodio, Dennis Manalastas, Jayson Uson, at Gerald Cruz.

The Blue Ribbon Committee, led by Sen. Richard Gordon, also cited the five people for contempt.

Gordon said that this is "not a punishment", but rather, a show of assertion to people who do not follow the process. 

"I concur with the observations that these witnesses have shown disrespect to the process of the committee...I second the motion to declare these persons in contempt," Senate Minority Floor Leader Frank Drilon said. 

Last month, senators said that Pharmally Pharmaceutical may have made "ghost deliveries" of face masks, face shields and personal protective equipment (PPEs) worth at least P3 billion in 2020.

The Palace, the health department and the Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service have repeatedly said that the deals with Pharmally were above board and were done when procurement guidelines were relaxed because of the pandemic.

A parallel House inquiry was launched last year, with members of the House claiming that the hearings at the Senate were motivated by politics.




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