Former Budget exec clears Sen. Go in Pharmally row

A former official of the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) cleared Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go in the controversy surrounding the alleged questionable purchase last year of medical supplies as part of the government’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability conducted a motu proprio inquiry into how Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., with a capital of P625,000, managed to bag an P8.6-billion contract from the government to buy Covid-19 medical supplies such as face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE).

DIWA Rep. Michael Aglipay, the committee’s chairman, asked Overall Deputy Ombudsman Warren Liong, former PS-DBM director, if Go ordered the award of a contract to Pharmally.

“Hindi po, Mr. Chairman. Wala pong nag-utos (No, Mr. Chairman. Nobody gave the order),” Liong said.

Liong had said that the suppliers were chosen based on their capability to deliver immediately or to deliver at the nearest possible time, lowest price quotes, and compliance with the Department of Health’s (DoH’s) technical specifications.

He also said that the face masks and PPE bought by the government last year amid the pandemic were not overpriced.

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