Hontiveros to DBM: Stop accepting proposals from medical suppliers linked to a financial fraud scandal
MANILA – (August 30, 2021) – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday called on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to stop accepting proposals from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation because of its close links to Pharmally International Holdings Corporation, a Taiwanese company charged with financial fraud. Pharmally Pharmaceutical is the biggest supplier of medical goods for our COVID-19 response.
“Pera ng taumbayan ang ginagamit para bayaran ang bilyon-bilyong halaga ng kontrata para sa ating COVID-19 response. Hindi pwedeng ang kaban ng bayan ay napupunta pala sa mga kumpanyang hindi pala mapagkakatiwalaan. This dubious supplier must go,” Hontiveros said.
According to Taipei Times, Huang Wen-lai, the chairman of Pharmally International, was issued an arrest warrant for allegedly transferring $NT700 million into his personal account. The report also said that Huang was accused of colluding with Chinese businessmen to “falsify accounts and financial statements in one of the largest securities fraud cases in the past few years involving a Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE)-listed firm.”
Hontiveros’s office retrieved a disclosure statement from an annual shareholder report of a different holdings corporation showing that Huang Tzu Yen, one of the owners of Pharmally Pharmaceutical, is the son of Huang Wen-lai. According to Bloomberg, Huang Tzu Yen is also a board member of Pharmally International.
“It is unacceptable that DBM continues to award Pharmally with contracts. Is theDBM simply failing to do its due diligence or is it in cahoots with this questionable local firm? Either way, it is deplorable all the same. We should not hesitate to end contracts with companies that may be involved with illegal activities, whether here or abroad,” Hontiveros said.
In September last year, Hontiveros had shared that, from April to May 2020, Pharmally sold two million units of PPEs for P1,910 each, amounting to a P3.8-billion contract. Senator Frank Drilon had also flagged a P480-million contract awarded to Pharmally for the procurement of test kits, which he said was overpriced by P208 million. Despite this, Pharmally still recently won another P744-million contract for the procurement of 17,000 RT-PCR test kits for P45,550 each, signed on June 2021.
“Isang taon na ang lumipas, tapos hindi man lang nag-abala ang DBM na suriin ang kumpanyang bilyon-bilyon na ang kita? Nakakalungkot isipin na sa panahong gipit na gipit ang mga Pilipino, may mga tao pang gustong mangupit,” Hontiveros said.
“Sa imbestigasyon namin sa Senado, pauulit-ulit nang lumilitaw ang pangalan nitong Pharmally. Ilang warning pa dapat ang kailangan bago mabahala ang DBM at huminto na ang pagbibigay ng kontrata sa kanila? Kahit ilang red flags pa ang nagwawagayway, nagbubulag-bulagan parin ang mga korap,” Hontiveros concluded. ###