Senator Richard Gordon on Wednesday accused a lawyer working for detained Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. officials Mohit and Twinkle Dargani of lying on his affiliations with Malacañang.
Gordon, chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said Lawyer Darryl Richie Valles initially denied working for the Office of the President (OP) when asked during his visit to the Dargani siblings on Tuesday, 16 November.
“Before he was allowed entry, we looked into who he was and we found out that per Office of the President directory, he is a Director IV at the Office of the Special Assistant to the President,” Gordon said in a statement on Wednesday.
“He denied being from Malacañang though he admitted he was from Davao,” he said.
But Gordon said Valles changed his tune before leaving the Senate premises and admitted working for the agency. He, however, clarified that he resigned last February.
A look into his LinkedIn profile also showed that he was previously employed at the OP.
The senator stressed that Pharmally executives have the right to hire their lawyers and raised questions on why Valles allegedly lied about his connection with the administration.
“We do not understand why there was a need for the subterfuge, why there was a need to hide an important fact. Here, the attempt to hide a fact raises more questions as a result,” said Gordon.
“The Darganis are entitled to counsel. That is a right we intend to always honor. They can hire whichever lawyer their money can buy,” he said.
In a handwritten letter, the Dargani siblings earlier asked the Senate panel for an audience with their four legal counsels. Among them are Valles, Don Kapunan, Demetri Felix and a yet to be confirmed lawyer.
The Dargani siblings have been staying at the chamber premises after they were arrested at the Davao City International airport on Sunday moments before they attempted to escape the country through a private chartered plane.
Their company is at the center of the Senate’s investigations on the government’s controversial procurement of Covid-19 pandemic supplies.