Duque charged with plunder

On Tuesday, February 01, 2022, the Senate blue ribbon committee recommended the filing of plunder and graft charges against Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd and officials of the Department of Budget and Management for their involvement in the overpriced purchase of medical supplies from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. Sen. Richard Gordon, committee chairman, released the partial report on the panel’s investigation of the contracts granted to Pharmally. The report also endorsed the filing of multiple administrative and criminal charges against two former officials of the DBM’s Procurement Service.

It recommended the filing of graft, plunder, and tax evasion charges against former PS-DBM officer in charge Lloyd Christopher Lao and procurement director Warren Rex Liong, now deputy overall ombudsman. Lao and Liong “engineered” the partnership between Pharmally and the PS-DBM, with the latter awarding the upstart company with a multi-billion peso contract from March 2020 to July 2021. The Senate conducted 19 virtual hearings on the questionable P8 billion worth of contracts bagged by Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. which had only P625,000 in paid-up capital.