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2月3日のまにら新聞から

Palace no comment on partial report of Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Pharmally case

[ 353 words|2022.2.3|英字 (English) ]

The Palace refused to comment on the partial report of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee over the government's deal with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp, in buying billions of pesos of allegedly overpriced COVID-19 pandemic response equipment.

"First of all, that is not yet adopted by the committee, it is just partial and unofficial and is not yet adopted by the committee or even by the Senate, it’s just... something that we cannot really comment on because it is not yet official," Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said in a television interview on Wednesday.

"It's just a partial report so it is hard to talk about it because we also do not have an official copy," he added.

However, Nograles reiterates what President Rodrigo Duterte always said in his public address for the Senate to file cases as he ordered his cabinet members not to attend the Senate inquiry on the government's purchase of COVID-19 response supplies.

"The President has repeated many times in his talk to the people program, for them to file cases against those they need to charge, and he is not protecting anyone," he said.

"At one point, the president also repeatedly said that the work of his cabinet members are affected and we are facing a pandemic, and that is the time that the president acted because his cabinet members would have to work," he added.

In its partial report released Tuesday evening, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, former Budget official Lloyd Christopher Lao, officials of Pharmally be charged for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Duque said he was saddened with the report.

''It is unfortunate that the panel turned a blind eye to the truth that was revealed during the Senate Blue Ribbon hearing, that all procurements for the country's COVID-19 response were made through the PS-DBM (Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management, the agency purposely tasked to undertake such activities,'' said Duque in a statement.

''We, at the DOH, were not part of the activity as we were focused on the medical side of the pandemic response,'' added Duque. Robina Asido/DMS