Pharmally Executives Ong And Dargani Face Detention In Pasay City Jail

MANILA, Philippines — Two executives of Pharmally, a controversial government supplier, were transferred to Pasay City Jail on Monday after being detained in the Senate.

Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executives Linconn Ong and Mohit Dargani were transferred as ordered by the Senate for failing to turn over documents requested by the Blue Ribbon Committee.

Ong and Dargani underwent medical checkup and antigen tests for Covid-19 before they left the Senate. According to the Senate Medical and Dental Bureau, they both tested negative for COVID-19.

The Senate is probing alleged anomalies in their supply deal with the government for personal protective equipment and other medical supplies for the Covid-19 pandemic response.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Friday adopted a motion on the transfer of Ong and Dargani to Pasay City Jail for failing to submit documents asked of them. 

In the commitment order signed Saturday by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and committee chair Senator Richard Gordon, Ong and Dargani would remain in jail “until such time that they will properly answer questions propounded to them, submit documents required by the committee, or otherwise purge themselves of a contempt order imposed against them”.

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) on Monday morning assured that no special treatment nor preferential attention would be provided to Ong and Dargani, adding all persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) are treated equally.

The agency also said Pasay City Jail, which has a 1000% congestion rate and houses over 1,100 PDLs, does not have a separate facility except for its isolation area intended for new inmates.

“Pasay City Jail is a 1,000 percent congested facility with 1,104 persons deprived of liberty (PDL). It does not have a separate facility, except the isolation area intended for newly committed PDL which is part of the health and security procedures being observed in jails,” he said in a statement.

After the mandatory quarantine period of 10 to 14 days, Ong and Dargani will be assigned to a cell for the “general population”.

Walang special treatment. Walang preferential attention para sa kanila. Ang policy ng BJMP, pantay-pantay na pagtrato sa lahat ng aming mga PDL, patas na pagmamalasakit sa lahat (No special treatment. No preferential attention for them. The BJMP’s policy is equal treatment for all, equal concern fo all),” Solda added.

Ong has been detained at the Senate since September and Dargani on November 14 after he was caught trying to leave the country.

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