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Senate witness says 'substandard' face shields delivered to DOH

The Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation has been delivering “substandard” face shields to the Department of Health (DOH), a supposed employee of the firm told the Senate blue ribbon committee on Friday.

During the continuation of the Senate probe into the alleged overpriced pandemic items bought by the government last year, Senator Risa Hontiveros presented a video of the supposed Pharmally employee who said he and others were tasked to tamper with the certificates of the face shields.

"Yung mga nakalagay dun sa certificate niya, production date po is year 2020 pa. Then, ang pinapagawa sa amin is palitan po siya ng certificate na updated this year," the employee, who was not identified for security reasons, said.

(The certificate of the face shields stated that the production date is 2020. We were tasked to replace it with a certificate with an updated year.)

He said it was Krizle Grace Mago who asked them to tamper with the certificates. Mago is one of the Pharmally officers who facilitate the deliveries of the pandemic goods procured by the government from the firm.

"Kahit po yupi-yupi yung mga face shield, yupi-yupi na yung mga boxes, kahit po may mga dumi, pinapa-repack pa rin po sa amin nina ma’am … although substandard po…kahit naninilaw, kahit basa-basa na po, yung iba po dun, nababasa gawa po ng tulo sa warehouse," the employee added.

(Even if the face shields are crumpled, and the boxes are dirty and are not in good shape, we still repacked it. These were substandard items. The foam attached to the face shields were turning yellow as they were soaked in rainwater.)

After repacking the face shields, the witness said they will attach a sticker on the finished goods stating that it is “Philippine Government Property.”

“Nakalagay po doon, Department of Health, so idea po namin is sa DOH po. Pero sinabi din naman po sa amin nina Ma’am na order po sya ng DOH from Pharmally,” he said.

(The stickers that we attached states its for “Department of Health.” So our idea is that it is for the DOH. They told us that these are orders of the DOH from Pharmally.)

These face shields are packed from August to September 2021, the witness said.

The witness also confirmed that he saw Pharmally corporate treasurer and secretary Mohit Dargani in the warehouse one time.

Mago admits

Mago, who was present in the hearing, admitted she ordered the tampering of the certificates of the face shields. She said she was just following orders from management, particularly Dargani.

“The instructions came from our management po. I received instructions from the PPC management, particularly Mohit Dargani,” Mago said.

Asked by Senator Francis Pangilinan if she thinks they are swindling the government, Mago said, "I believe so, Mr. Chairman." 

Dargani has yet to speak at the hearing as of posting time. --with Joahna Lei Casilao/KBK, GMA News