A youth group has filed a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman against former Procurement Service Chief Undersecretary Christopher Lloyd Lao and executives of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., including former presidential adviser Michael Yang and Quezon City congressional aspirant Rose Nono Lin.
Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK), an activist youth organization, in its complaint expressed belief that criminal charges be filed against the individuals involved in the Sandiganbayan.
“The facts are simple: the Filipino people were swindled out of billions, in a time when even our next meal is uncertain,” John Lazaro, SPARK Spokesperson, said in a statement.
Lazaro said the complaint is based on the testimonies and admissions during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings, in which more than P8 billion in contracts were awarded to Pharmally, an undercapitalized corporation which had no previous track record in government procurement.
“Because of this conspiracy by public and private respondents to defraud the government, the government has overspent at least P300 million in public funds because PS-DBM disqualified other suppliers who had submitted a bid only 17 minutes too late.”
Lazaro said instead of giving the award for RT-PCR test kits to another supplier with a price proposal of P62,500, PS-DBM awarded the contract to Pharmally despite a price proposal of P69,000, or more than ten percent higher than the disqualified bidder.
“If we are looking at the most glaring proof of undue injury to the government, it is this transaction.
With P300 million saved, the government could have procured an additional 500,000 vaccines, or an additional 5,000 test kits using the disqualified bidder’s price proposal.”
“Aside from the already established lack of track record and financial capacity of Pharmally, the company was allowed to deliver supplies to PS-DBM even without purchase orders. This is evidence number one of unwarranted preference.”
Lazaro said the purchase order for these deliveries was signed a full twelve days after delivery to the PS-DBM warehouse.
“Inspection reports were also signed by the PS-DBM even if Pharmally had not made actual deliveries yet. This is evidence number two of unwarranted preference.”
Among the complaint’s respondents is Rose Nono Lin, the corporate treasurer and incorporator of Pharmally Biologicals Incorporated, which she claims is unrelated to Pharmally Pharmaceutical.
“A testament to Rose Nono Lin’s misdeeds has been her underreporting of her actual assets to the Blue Ribbon Committee. Instead of a handful of real properties, no less than the Land Registration Authority disclosed that she had at least 37 properties in her name and the name of her Chinese national spouse, Lin Weixiong. Most of these properties were acquired only in the last five years.”
Lin admitted to owning some P100-M worth of holdings, including four luxury cars, as well as renting various houses in luxury neighborhoods such as Dasmariñas Village and Forbeswood.
SPARK previously submitted letters to both Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Richard Gordon and Anti-Money Laundering Council Chair Benjamin Diokno requesting investigations into, and the arrest of, Lin, specifically citing the way she feigned stupidity in answering the Blue Ribbon Committee’s questions regarding her assets.
“The fact that someone as clearly corrupt as Lin can run for public office is an insult to the Filipinos whose lives have been made worse by the billions (of pesos) she and Pharmally took,” Lazaro said.
SPARK further insisted that “Pharmally Biologicals Incorporated” is one and the same with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.
Another respondent in the complaint is Michael Yang, former economic adviser to President Duterte who has been tagged as the “financier” in Pharmally’s operations through loans and guaranteeing purchases to Chinese suppliers.
Seven other individuals linked with the Pharmally deals are respondents in the complaint, including Overall Deputy Ombudsman Warren Rex Liong, Pharmally executives Mohit and Twinkle Dargani, and Pharmally financial adviser Lin Weixiong, who is also Lin’s husband.
As of press time, the individuals have yet to respond to the complaint filed against them.
SPARK called on the Ombudsman to file criminal charges against all 10 respondents in the Sandiganbayan on grounds of violating Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act through transactions that caused undue injury to government.
They also called for the dismissals of Lao and Liong, as well as their perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
“They must be held to account for the grave crimes they have committed against the Filipino masses who continue to struggle against the effects of the pandemic,” the group said.