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Imee: I won’t sign Pharmally report due to ‘inclusions not merited by evidence’

Senator Imee Marcos on Tuesday said she would not sign the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's report on government purchases of COVID-19 supplies and alleged anomalous transactions with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation due to the “inclusions not merited by evidence.”

“I participated [in the investigation] but I’m not signing the committee report. I think many senators are of the same position that we wanted an investigation but I think there were so many inclusions that we do not think were merited given the evidence available,” Marcos told reporters in an interview.

Marcos refused to mention the specific recommendations that she did not agree with, saying she did not want to “jump the gun.”

Instead, she would wait for Senate Blue Ribbon Chairman Senator Richard Gordon’s privilege speech on the matter.

In February, Gordon released a partial report of the investigation into the transfer of P42 billion COVID-19 funds from the Department of Health to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

The investigation focused mainly on PS-DBM’s purchase of P8.6 billion worth of face masks, face shields, and PPEs from Pharmally, a firm that only had P625,000 in paid-up capital when it entered into government transactions.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman's report recommended the filing of criminal charges against Pharmally officials Linconn Ong and Mohit Dargani, and several government officials and individuals in connection with the alleged anomalous purchases of COVID-19 supplies.

The report also claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte betrayed the public trust in connection with his actions related to the government's multi-billion-peso contracts with Pharmally.

Gordon's report, however, still needs to gather enough signatures before it can be brought to the plenary, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said in an interview last Monday.

Apart from Marcos and Gordon, the following senators were members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committees: Panfilo Lacson, Emmanuel Pacquiao, Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Aquilino Pimentel III, Manuel Lapid, Pia Cayetano, Bong Go, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan,and Leila de Lima.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon are considered ex-officio members of the panel.

Should it be sponsored in the plenary, the senators would still need to debate its findings and recommendations before it can be adopted and called a Senate report.

In a Monday interview, Drilon said the Senate Blue Ribbon investigation in the 18th Congress was not a waste of time as the testimonies and other evidence from the committee probe could still be used should the next batch of senators decide to pursue the investigation. — DVM, GMA News