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Pharmally execs in cat-mouse game?

Senators cited the Darganis in contempt and ordered their detainment at the Senate last week over their alleged refusal to submit subpoenaed documents

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The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Tuesday said it has so far failed to locate Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executives Mohit and Twinkle Dargani.

Retired general Rene Samonte, Senate sergeant-at-arms, said his office has yet to arrest the siblings for contempt days after they allegedly went into hiding.

Twinkle serves as president while her brother Mohit is the corporate secretary and treasurer of the firm involved in the government’s questioned procurement of Covid-19 supplies at the start of the pandemic last year.

“The teams tasked to serve the arrest orders went back to two of their condominiums last Saturday and Sunday but they are still missing,” Samonte said. “They also went to a house, coming from an informant, but nobody was around.”

The Darganis are said to own at least three condominium units in Taguig and San Juan.

Senators cited Twinkle and Mohit in contempt and ordered their detainment at the Senate last week over their alleged refusal to submit subpoenaed documents.

Twinkle invoked the data privacy and bank secrecy laws while Mohit reasoned out that Pharmally was refusing to provide him copies of the needed documents, including the firm’s subsidiary ledgers, sales invoices and official receipts, as well as a summary list of sales.

Mohit later criticized the Senate committee in a press statement for supposedly treating them like “hostages” during the investigation.

“The Blue Ribbon failed to treat us justly. Rather than impartially listening to us, they tried to get us to incriminate ourselves. They want us detained because we asserted our rights [when] they can’t get what they want to hear from us,” his statement reads.

“We are being falsely accused for political gains. The election season is nearing and we’re like hostages. Not for the people but for political survival,” he added.

Pharmally director Lincoln Ong is already in the custody of the Senate since 21 September after he was arrested for contempt for allegedly being “evasive” in his answers to questions by the panel.

Ong was accused by the senators of “lying under oath.” He has petitioned the Supreme Court to declare illegal his detention by the panel headed by Senator Richard Gordon.

The committee will reconvene on Thursday to continue its probe on Pharmally, which has been questioned for bagging a multi-billion-peso Covid supplies contract despite having a paid-up capital of only P625,000.

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