After a series of Senate investigations into the controversial Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said she hopes that the truth will come out on the supposed irregularities in the government's procurement of the reportedly overpriced COVID-19 pandemic supplies.
In her weekly radio program, Robredo underscored the witnesses' role in divulging the anomalies in the procurement of health supplies for the Department of Health.
This includes Pharmally official Krizle Grace Mago's confession that she ordered the tampering of expiry dates in the face shields.
"Talagang ang daming irregularities na nangyari na maraming pera na involved. Mabuti may lumalabas na witness. Ang pakiusap sana wala ng cover-up. Sana lumabas ang katotohanan para hindi na ito mauulit pa," Robredo said.
(There are a lot of irregularities and money involved. It is good that we have witnesses. I would like to ask that there should be no more cover-up. I hope the truth will come out so that these things won't happen again.)
Mago, however, could no longer be contacted by senators, Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee conducting the probe, said on Sunday.
Corruption more unforgivable in pandemic
Following the testimonies of Pharmally officers, Robredo said it is clear that people are using the pandemic for business.
In a previous Senate hearing, it was also revealed that face shields from Pharmally were repacked even as some were turning yellow due to being soaked in rainwater.
"So may mga kumita. Dati tsismis lang na baka may pinagkakakitaan. Ngayon kung nanonood tayo ng Senate hearings, it appears na may kumita talaga," she said.
(So some people used this as a business. And as shown in the Senate hearings, there are people who actually earned income from this.)
It also only showed that this act is more unforgivable during the pandemic, which killed more than 37,000 Filipinos, Robredo said.
"Ang nasa isip ko lang, paano nakakatulog sa gabi ang mga taong ito? Ang daming Filipino naghihirap. Ang iniisip pa nila inhuldensiya," she added.
(My thoughts are, how do these people sleep at night? Many Filipinos are grappling with the pandemic and yet they think of indulgence.)
No more mixed messages in face shield policy
On the recent face shield policy, Robredo called on the government to stop giving mixed messages, adding that there should be clearer guidelines on wearing it.
"'Yung kabutihan lang nito pagkatapos matapos ng mahabang debate, mayroon ng desisyon. Sana lang hindi na urong sulong. After may declaration na hindi na kailangan sa outdoor, pero sa indoor kailangan pa raw," she said.
(The good thing here is after a long debate, there is a decision. I hope they won't rescind the order. After declaring that it isn't allowed outdoors but indoors it is still needed.)
"Sana hindi mixed messaging. Kung ano sabihin ng eksperto sundin natin pero ayusin natin 'yung panukala. Hindi 'yung nalilito tayo," she added.
(I hope there will be no mixed messaging. Whatever the experts are saying, we will follow them but we must fix the policy. Let's not confuse people.)
President Rodrigo Duterte announced relaxing the face shields policy which can only be worn in areas that are closed, crowded, and allow for close contact.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the guidelines regarding face shields use were already completed but will be released "as soon as possible" either later on Sunday or on Monday. —KG, GMA News