THREAD: Day 6 of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's legislative probe on the government's handling of pandemic funds | LIVE

Tweets by our correspondent @eimorpsantos, digital producers @pplmanuel and @dtdyumol
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Panel chairman Sen. Richard Gordon asks Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea not to blame the Senate probe for the rise in COVID-19 cases: "Wag niyo naman sa aming isisi"
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol In an online post on Saturday, Medialdea said: "A surge has been going on for several days now. And yet, key officials in charge of protecting our people from this surge are being required to attend hearings for an alleged 'grand plunder'"
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Sen. Gordon: Normally we invite only the head of office. Health Secretary Francisco Duque is entitled to bring whoever he wants to bring.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Atty. Raymond Fortun says his client Michael Yang will not be attending today's hearing.

Atty. Fortun says he was supposed to meet with Yang but was told his "blood pressure shot up," adding his doctor advised him to just stay home.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Atty. Fortun: Apparently because of the proceedings, his [Michael Yang] health has been affected.

Sen. Gordon on Michael Yang: Blood pressures go up and down, he will have to appear.

@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Sen. Gordon on Michael Yang's health condition: That always occurs when somebody's under investigation: they come in a wheelchair, show their picture and they cannot appear. Mr. Yang is healthy enough... I think he can face the music.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol LOOK: Pharmally Pharmaceutical director Linconn Ong present in today's hearing. He is now under house arrest after being cited in contempt.

Senate President Tito Sotto: Warrant for Ong was served but he was kept in his house because he is positive for COVID-19.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Sen. Gordon on Michael Yang: Why is it that when somebody is under investigation, they always appear sick or in wheelchair?
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Sen. Gordon: Itutuloy namin ang imbestigasyon na ito sa kabila ng pagbabanta, pananakot na ginagawa ngayon mismo ng ating Pangulo. Nakakalungkot, pero 'yan ang ginagawa niya.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Sen. Gordon: Kung ang bilyon-bilyong pondo na nasasayang sa katiwalian sa ating procurement ng mga face masks, PPE at iba pang gamit laban sa COVID ay nagamit para mabigyan ang ating mga health workers ng mga benepisyo, siguro hindi na nila kailangang mag-resign
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Pharmally Pharmaceutical Chairman and President Huang Tzu Yen: We'd really like to cooperate with the hearings and understandings of the inquiries
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Pharmally's Huang: What we really attempt to do is a business is offer the best price available within our abilities' constraints to attract customers, in this case the government procurement entity
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Pharmally's Huang: We have been compliant with requirements submitted to us. We weren't allowed to collect payments until after.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Pharmally's Huang refutes claims gov't favored the firm during the PPE procurement bidding process: Sometimes we win, sometimes we don't... We don't always win in these government bids. We just keep trying and trying.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Pharmally's Huang: I'm not here to defend Mr. Michael Yang. He really does not know about me, my involvement with Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon: Sabi mo natanggap niyo request for quotation on March 25, 2020. On the same day, you answered it and supplied 500,000 surgical masks costing ₱20/piece. Did you have these in your inventory? (1/2)
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Pharmally executive Krizle Grace Mago: At that day, we don't have stocks on our inventory. But Mr. Ong was able to negotiate with a supplier (2/2)
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Sen. Gordon to Mago: Then you were lying kanina, sabi mo pinadeliver mo agad?

Pharmally's Mago: Yes, with Mr. Ong's instructions
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel @dtdyumol Sen. Gordon to Pharmally's Mago: I didn't ask you whose instruction. Sabi mo pinadalhan ka email, sinagot mo at pinadeliver mo agad. Tinanong kita nasa imbentaryo ba, meron. Ngayon binabago mo sagot mo.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon to Pharmally's Mago: I hope you realize, pag nag-sinungaling ka dito, malaking kasalanan 'yan. Di kita tinatakot, binubully.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon to Pharmally's Mago: Di kapani-paniwala sinasabi mong nag-order March 25 [2020], dineliver niyo on March 25... Bigla mong babawiin, sasabihin mo nasa bodega, 'yun pala wala. Super Linconn [Ong] comes in and says, bigyan ka namin ng kaibigan ko.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Pharmally's Mago: Just to clarify, Mr. Chairman...

Sen. Gordon: It's very clear to me. Anong cclarify mo? 'Yun ang sinabi mo.

@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Ping Lacson presents a list of purchase orders with firms including Pharmally, which shows the PO for the 500,000 face masks in question was dated April 16, 2020
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Drilon: Sabi ng resource person, natanggap nila RFQ nung March 25, 2020. Ngayon sabi nila, dineliver nila the same day. Dineliver nila 500,000 face masks, di ko alam kung may inventory o hindi, papalit-palit sagot (1/2)
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Drilon: Ang sinasabi ngayon, April 16, 2020 purchase order nila. Ibig sabihin, nagdeliver sila wala man lang purchase order which is so unusual (2/2)
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Pharmally's Mago: We received the RFQ on March 25, 2020. It's correct we delivered 500K surgical masks on the same day. These actions were executed based on our management's instructions.

She says the supplier Ong talked to was a local one, but adds she has no info on this firm.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon to Pharmally's Mago: Hindi ko alam kung may nagddikta sayo kaya nalilito ka, kami tuloy nalilito
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon says he wants a motion to declare Pharmally's Mago in contempt: I don't think I should tarry with this witness
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel A screenshot of an email from Mago shows she is the regulatory affairs head of Pharmally

@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon to Pharmally's Mago: First time lang kayo magddeliver. Wala kayong bodega, tapos sasabihin mo para sa test kits yung bodega. Tapos ngayon, [sasabihin mo] di ko alam, si Linconn [Ong] nagsabi... Obviously, you've been taking us for a ride.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Pharmally director Ong: 'Yung statement ni Ms. Mago, nakatanggap kami RFQ, dineliver namin on the day nito.

Sen. Gordon to Ong: Your record doesn't speak well for you already. Kaya ka na-contempt the other day, ngayon ini-interpret mo sinabi ni Krizle [Mago]
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Pharmally director Ong says the supplier he coordinated with regarding the 500,000 face masks they delivered last year is TigerPhil Marketing. He clarifies Michael Yang is not involved here.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon on TigerPhil: Magkano binayad mo sa kanya?

Pharmally director Ong: Trade secret po 'yun...

Sen. Gordon: Walang secret dito, corruption investigation ito.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Ralph Recto to Ong: Material yung tanong ng ating chairman, kung magkano binayaran mo sa supplier because the same month, may lokal na kompanyang nag-supply ₱13[.50]. Ang supply niyo, presyo ₱27.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Pharmally director Ong confirms he's present in the 2017 meeting with President Duterte and Michael Yang in Davao City. He says he was the translator
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon expresses frustration over Ong not providing the name of his contact in TigerPhil: Di ko tinatanong contact number, kung ano pangalan...kaibigan mo di mo alam pangalan, Brother Tiger lang?

Pharmally director Ong: 'Yun po talaga tawagan namin.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon to ex-DBM Usec. Lloyd Christopher Lao: What are you chattering about? Andami mo sinasabi. Ang tanong napakasimple: did you do your due diligence?

Ex-DBM Usec. Lao: Yes.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon calls out Lao for his manner of answering: You're answering as if you're looking down on us, pinapakita mo sa aming kampante ka. Nung una humble na humble ka, ngayong nabubukadkad na, lumalabas na nerbyos mo na nabubuking ka na.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon: Ang totoo niyan, di talaga naggawa ng due diligence. Kasi kung tinanong 'yan: dapat may capability ba to deliver?
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Drilon to ex-DBM Usec. Lao: Please, mahinahon lang po kayo sumagot. Dating mo, mayabang ka're talking to senators, give us the appropriate respect. Wag po kayo masyado arogante.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Drilon to ex-DBM Usec. Lao: On April 23, 2020, did you also issue an award to Pharmally for 3 million KN95 masks with unit price ₱100, total price ₱300 million? I'm holding a document with your signature, this isn't in the COA report
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Drilon also quizzes ex-DBM Usec. Lao on a purchase order dated June 10 last year addressed to Pharmally for 312 test kits, unit price ₱787,968: Total amount, ₱245,846,016 duly signed by you. This isn't in the COA report again.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Ex-DBM Usec. Lao: Those are masks for common supplies we're selling to DOH, other gov't agencies in parallel with surgical masks we're procuring as common supplies sold to different gov't agencies.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Drilon also flags a purchase order in June 9, 2020 also addressed to Pharmally for 41,400 test kits priced at ₱69,500 each. This amounts to ₱2,877,300,000: Ano po nangyari dito?
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Lao: If we buy common supply items, which these COVID-19 items have been declared as, we buy them using PS[-DBM] funds. After we buy them, we charge 4% and sell it to entities that will use these

He adds DOH is the biggest entity buying these items.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Drilon recommends the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum for PS-DBM to produce all documents related to said purchase orders not found in the COA audit: These are very substantial amounts.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon quizzes Pharmally exec Ong: On April 20 [last year], you supplied 10M quantities costing ₱220M...where did you get the money to pay for the ₱220M?

Ong: Di po namin kailangan bayaran agad yung stocks.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon: Kanino niyo binigay? Kay Tiger na naman?

Ong refers to a Mr. Huang, clarifying he's not referring to either Pharmally head Huang nor his father

Sen. Gordon: Anong full name? Di porque Chinese hindi mo. matandaan ang pangalan
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Ping Lacson to Ong: May I remind him not to invoke Chinese style? Lahat dito dapat documented.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Pharmally director Ong: Andami ko na pong natanggap na death threat.

Sen. Gordon: Bakit ka mad-death threat, anong ginawa mong kasalanan?
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Pharmally director Ong further explains he has been receiving text messages: You and your family will be killed if you will not admit your connection with the chief executive, isa po 'yan.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Bato dela Rosa advises Ong not to be scared of said death threats: Patayin mo cellphone mo o gusto mo itapon mo, at mag-concetrate ka sa hearing na 'to. Sagutin mo lahat ng tanong para maganda takbo ng hearing natin.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon to Ong: It's now your moment of truth, kung tutulong ka sa gobyerno at kababayan natin. You're already protected right now, may nakabantay sayo ngayon na [Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms].
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon to Pharmally head Huang: Magkano ba talaga pinautang sa inyo ni Michael Yang?
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel LOOK: Pharmally director Linconn Ong admits he asked help from Michael Yang to pay suppliers of these test kits and PPEs worth a total of ₱7.297 billion.

Sen. Gordon to Pharmally: Si Michael Yang palagi ang nagsasalba sa inyo.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Risa Hontiveros: Totoo po ba may punto hiningi sa inyo pumirma sa mga inspection at acceptance report para sa goods na di pa naddeliver noon?

PS-DBM inspector Mervin Ian Tanquintic: Meron po. Yung dalawang foreign supplier.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Hontiveros to Tanquintic: Sino 'yung humiling sa inyo na pumirma ng lumalabas na fake inspection at acceptance reports?

She adds DOH personnel should've been present in those instances and that they should've also signed off the said documents.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Tanquintic: Opo. Ang nangyari, yung internal document na pinirmahan namin, nakalagay inspection will be conducted once items arrive in the country. Jinoint inspection po nung dumating at inaccount po.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Pangilinan: When was the license to operate (LTO) for Pharmally to import medical devices issued?

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said it was issued on March 24, 2020.

@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Pangilinan: Why does your website say it's on January 2021?

FDA DG Domingo: They initially had a LTO for medical drugs, then they reapplied for another LTO as an importer of medical devices. (2/2)
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Commission on Audit Chairman Mike Aguinaldo: When the audit was done, what they look for is whether the documentation for the purchase, deliveries are compliant with what law requires. But they don't go that deep into looking at qualifications of bidders unless there's a trigger
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel COA chairman Aguinaldo: Because of the findings from hearings, Cong. [Rufus] Rodriguez asked if we'll take another look at it. Yes, we would...I said maybe one month's reasonable but I can't really guarantee that, there's a lot of information from these hearings.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Manny Pacquiao: Corruption is system, it has been our problem since time immemorial. But it doesn't mean we'll just accept it and do nothing about it.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Pacquiao asks DOH Sec. Duque on irregularities in the pandemic response: Sa tingin nyo po, may corruption o wala?

Duque: Katulad ng sinasabi ng COA chairman, ang kanilang audit findings ay wala pong nakalagay na money was lost to corruption.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Former PS-DBM Executive Dir. Lao responds to Sen. Pacquiao’s question on whether corruption exists in the government: We do our best what is good for the country.

Sen. Pacquiao: Bakit iba-iba ang sagot niyo sa mga tanong namin? (1/2)
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Lao: As to inconsistencies of answers between different agencies and persons, mahirap po ‘yun. Magkaiba kami ng mga stand. PS-DBM is in charge of procuring only, so our focus only is our finance. (2/2)
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Atty. Raymond Fortun, lawyer of Michael Yang, says Yang has been instructed and directed by his doctor to remain on bed rest for five days due to hypertensive urgency. They will instead send a medical certificate to the senators.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon says he will discuss with other senators if there is a need to issue a hold departure order against Michael Yang.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Drilon suggests if the Senate can request the Bureau of Immigration for a watch order to Yang: So that if the witness will try to leave (the country), the Blue Ribbon Committee will be notified immediately.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee approves motion to request the Justice Department to place Michael Yang under the Immigration's watch list.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Hontiveros moves for the Senate to request the Department of Justice for the issuance of a watch order to Michael Yang.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Sen. Gordon orders the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee staff to inspect the Department of Health's warehouse in Marikina, where the questioned pandemic supplies are stored.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel Gordon questions DOH Sec. Duque why the unit of each PPE costs ₱2,000, whereas the other bidders only gave it below ₱2,000.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel DOH Sec. Duque responds to Gordon that the said PPE were purchased in April, but delivered in the PH in June: The timing of the availability is a big factor, I believe, in the determination of correct price vis-a-vis the SRP set by DTI.
@eimorpsantos @pplmanuel The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee end today’s hearing and will resume on Sept. 17, Friday, at 10:30 a.m.

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