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Darganis' aborted flight to Malaysia costs P1.850M —Hontiveros

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday said the chartered flight arranged by siblings Mohit and Twinkle Dargani, both officials of Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp., for their “attempted escape” to Malaysia costs nearly P2 million.

In a virtual press conference, Hontiveros said a quotation from Seletar Jet Charter Pte Ltd. shows that the siblings' chartered flight was priced at around US$37,000 or P1.850 million.

This covered the arrival of the chartered plane from Singapore to Davao; Davao to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Kuala Lumpur Malaysia back to Singapore, the senator said.

While disclosing this, Hontiveros raised anew the income tax declared by the Dargani siblings, where Mohit paid more than P90,000 and Twinkle only paid P1,000.

Mohit is Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation’s corporate secretary and treasurer while Twinkle is the firm’s president.

“Kaya ang nais kong itanong sa susunod na hearing ay ito: Kung kinaya ng mga Darganis na magbayad ng ganyang halaga, na halos P2 milyon para sa isang chartered flight, mukhang hindi tama ang income tax na binayaran nila. At bukod pa dyan, kung hindi sila ang nagbayad, ang tanong tuloy, sino ang nagbayad? The Darganis must be very important to that person who paid for it,” Hontiveros said.

(In the next hearing, I wanted to ask this: If the Darganis could pay almost P2 million for a chartered flight, it seems like there are issues in the payment of their income tax. Apart from this, if they did not pay for it, then who financed their chartered flight? The Darganis must be very important to that person who paid for it.)

"Itong lahat ay kinokumpleto na namin ang storya sa blue ribbon investigation in terms of these flagged transactions by the COA so siyempre kasama sa saklaw ng pagtatanong na who arranged and financed this latest attempt, yung attempted na pagtakas ng magkapatid na Dargani," she added.

(We are completing this story during the blue ribbon investigation in terms of these flagged transactions by the COA and of course, it involves the questions on who arranged and finance this attempted escape of the Dargani siblings.)

The Senate blue ribbon committee has cited the Dargani siblings in contempt for failing to provide the necessary documents being asked by the panel. They were arrested at the Davao International Airport in Davao City last week.

The committee is investigating questionable procurements of medical supplies made by the government, through the Department of Budget and Management's Procurement Service (PS-DBM), with Pharmally.

Incident report

During her briefing,  Hontiveros shared the incident report on the November 14 arrest of the Dargani siblings.

According to the document, upon arrival of the passengers, they were presented to the immigration personnel at the ramp near the aircraft and were checked personally one by one with their passport, after which they were allowed to board the aircraft.

“Very obvious that despite the fact that Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order was already issued against the Darganis as early as September 25, muntik pa silang makalusot sa ating gates,” Hontiveros said.

“And the biggest question of all: Is there a reason kung bakit Davao airport ang pinili nilang departure point [why did they choose Davao airport as their departure point]?” she added.

Hontiveros said she will “dig deeper” into this as she already led the investigation on the “pastillas” scheme or the alleged bribery involving airport officials.

The Darganis are currently detained at the Senate building in Pasay City.  —KBK, GMA News