Here’s a wrap of all the stories in 2021 that you need to read and videos you need to watch about the anomalous pandemic contracts the government awarded to Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation
MANILA, Philippines – One of the biggest scandals to rock the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte in 2021 is the string of anomalies hounding the multi-billion worth of contracts his government awarded to the notorious Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.
What started out as an inquiry into state auditors’ findings that the Department of Health (DOH) poorly spent P67 billion of pandemic funds in 2020 later turned into a full-blown twin congressional investigation into the nitty-gritty of the Duterte government’s pandemic contracts.
The Senate blue ribbon committee hearings uncovered that Pharmally cornered P10 billion in pandemic deals between 2020 and 2021 despite it being a small, newly created firm that lacked the funds, track record, and credibility to handle big-ticket government procurement.
A Rappler investigation also revealed that Chinese businessman Michael Yang, a friend and former economic adviser of the President, has links to Pharmally through a network of companies that thrived during Duterte’s term. Pharmally officials said Yang was their financier and guarantor, although he denied this.
Among the officials embroiled in the scandal are longtime Duterte aide-turned-senator Bong Go and ex-budget undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao, a volunteer election lawyer for the President who eventually headed the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM). Lao had signed off on the Duterte government contracts with Pharmally.
As senators continued to expose Duterte’s ties with the personalities in the Pharmally controversy, the President defended his allies and directed his wrath at the Senate.
The House of Representatives, dominated by Duterte allies, followed the President’s cue and used their own hearings to counter the Senate.
Now, there is a looming constitutional crisis after Duterte barred his Cabinet officials from attending the Senate hearings. Senators retaliated and questioned the President’s memorandum before the Supreme Court.
But senators are also facing cases of their own, as Yang and Pharmally director Linconn Ong have filed petitions challenging the lawmakers’ arrest orders against them.
The Senate is undeterred, however, as the chamber detained Ong and the siblings Mohit and Twinkle Dargani for refusing to cooperate in the investigation. Ong and Mohit Dargani have since been transferred to the Pasay City Jail.
Listed below are all the articles you need to read and videos you need to watch to brush up on the Pharmally scandal, grouped under the major topics that have emerged in relation to the issue:
COA report on DOH’s misused, unused funds in 2020
Pharmally’s links to Michael Yang
- Biggest pandemic supplier has links to ex-Duterte adviser Michael Yang
- Michael Yang, associates expand businesses under Duterte presidency
- Pharmally had P625,000 capital before bagging P8 billion in COVID-19 contracts
- Michael Yang was Pharmally’s financier, guarantor to Chinese suppliers
- Michael Yang denies financing Pharmally: Not me, but my ‘friends’
- Financial mystery deepens: Was Pharmally just an agent, not a supplier?
- Pharmally bags P2 billion more deals in 2021
- Senate panel issues arrest warrant vs ex-Duterte adviser Michael Yang
- Facing arrest, Michael Yang vows ‘full cooperation’ in Senate probe
- Senate summons Michael Yang’s business associate Rose Nono Lin
- Even with 2 arrest warrants, Michael Yang a no-show in Senate probe
- Senate panel summons Lin Weixiong, alleged drug personality linked to Michael Yang
- WATCH: Pangilinan calls out Michael Yang for yawning during Pharmally hearing
- Senate wants Michael Yang on immigration watch list
- Eduardo Acierto resurfaces, offers to testify vs Duterte, Michael Yang
- Lakas-CMD revokes nomination of Pharmally-linked QC congressional bet
Red flags raised over Pharmally deals
- PANOORIN: Bakit kahina-hinala ang pagkakuha ng Pharmally ng mga kontrata sa pandemya?
- Tale of pandemic face shields: Costly, overstocked, unauthorized gov’t buys
- About P550 million in COVID-19 test kits bought by DOH, PS-DBM expired
- Senate to dig deeper into ‘mystery’ of overpriced COVID-19 purchases in DBM
- Audits flag DBM’s procurement service over COVID-19 supplies
- ‘Who instructed you?’: Pharmally’s advance delivery surprises PS-DBM staff
- DBM audit shows Pharmally deliveries consistently delayed – Marcos
- PS-DBM, Pharmally deals are ‘premeditated plunder’ – Drilon
- WATCH: After absence, Pharmally chairman shows up at Senate probe
- Senate to probe deeper into Pharmally financials
- WATCH: ‘Hindi normal,’ says tax expert Mon Abrea of Pharmally’s financial records
- Pharmally did not pay employee contributions – Villanueva
- Senate summons Pharmally accountant Jeff Mariano
- DOJ: Face shield tampering violates law, but needs complaint vs Pharmally
- Rigged favors for Pharmally, substandard supplies are graft – senators
- Pharmally pandemic items sold to DOTr ‘overpriced’ by at least 62% – Hontiveros
- TigerPhil Marketing, Pharmally’s supplier, flagged for possible tax evasion
- Senate finds Pharmally tax records with P3.4 billion ‘unsupported purchases’
- [VIDEO EDITORIAL] Binudol ng Pharmally ang taumbayan
- [ANALYSIS] ‘Whiff of corruption’? Umaalingasaw na ang Pharmally
Anomalies in contracts signed by PS-DBM
Bombshell testimony then recantation of Pharmally’s Krizle Mago
Senate arrest of Linconn Ong, Mohit and Twinkle Dargani
Duterte and House attack the Senate
- Duterte insists no corruption in DOH, refuses to fire Duque
- Malacañang on COA reports: ‘Cool po muna tayo’
- After slamming COA, Duterte hits lawmakers’ hearings on pandemic spending
- Duterte should see COA as ally vs corruption, says House leader
- Senators hit Duterte’s rants vs probes: ‘Brush up on checks and balances’
- Gordon says Senate may end up probing Duterte, Go over pandemic deals
- [WATCH] Gordon to Duterte: Instead of calling me fat, respond to overspending allegations
- Bong Go melts down, says Gordon ‘bullying’ him in Senate probe
- Gordon claps back at Duterte: ‘You are a cheap politician, Mr. President!’
- WATCH: Gordon gets emotional as senators express support amid pandemic probe
- House panel hits Senate: Pharmally probe is ‘in aid of election’
- [PODCAST] Beyond the Stories: Banggaan ng Senado at Kamara sa imbestigasyon sa Pharmally
- In DOH probe, congressmen hand the mic to Duterte gov’t
- Duterte to Red Cross: Where is your required annual report?
- House panel takes cue from Duterte, targets Red Cross
- Lawmaker: If face shields were expired, did anyone die?
- Duterte likens Senate hearings on Pharmally to martial law
- To attack Senate, Marcoleta uses wrong case title vs a power that House also uses
- Cyberattack hits Gordon’s website as Pharmally probe continues
- Drilon: House breached inter-parliamentary courtesy by hitting Senate’s Pharmally probe
- ‘Tit for tat’: Duterte dangles non-release of budget over senators
- Rappler Talk Newsmaker: Franklin Drilon on Pharmally and friction between Duterte, Senate
Pharmally issue reaches the Supreme Court
Congressman restricts Rappler reporter’s access