Ombudsman Upholds Charges Over Pharmally Procurement Scandal

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The Office of the Ombudsman Upholds Ruling on Graft Charges

The Office of the Ombudsman has recently upheld its ruling regarding the procurement of COVID-19 test kits from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. The ruling states that there is probable cause to charge several individuals with graft in connection to this procurement. This decision comes after a thorough investigation into the matter.

One of the key modifications made by the Office of the Ombudsman was regarding Lin Weixiong. It was discovered that Lin had declared himself a Chinese citizen. The ruling highlighted that Lin’s appointment and designation as finance manager of Pharmally breached the prohibition under section 2-a of the anti-dummy law. This law prohibits foreigners from having control over corporate assets and properties in the Philippines.

The ruling emphasized the broad power that Lin had over the financial aspects of Pharmally. It suggested that his appointment was part of a larger criminal design to profit from the anomalous procurements. The fact that check payments were made while Lin was already serving as the financial manager further supports the belief that he was aware and complicit in the overall scheme. This revelation strengthens the case against Lin and the others involved in the procurement process.

Former PS-DBM Officials and Pharmally Executives Face Graft Charges

The Office of the Ombudsman also denied the supplemental motion for reconsideration filed by former Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) Executive Director Lloyd Christopher Lao. This decision means that Lao, along with other individuals, will be facing graft charges.

The order recommends charging Lao, former PS-DBM Procurement Group Director Warren Rex Liong, Procurement Management Officer Paul Jasper De Guzman, and several Pharmally executives, including Twinkle Dargani, Mohit Dargani, Linconn Ong, Justine Garado, Huang Tzu Yen, and Lin. These individuals are believed to have played a role in the irregularities surrounding the procurement of COVID-19 test kits.

It is important to note that a copy of the order has been furnished to the Department of Justice, as the offenses fall within its jurisdiction. This ensures that the appropriate legal actions can be taken against the individuals involved.

Implications and Next Steps

The ruling by the Office of the Ombudsman marks a significant development in the investigation into the procurement of COVID-19 test kits from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. By upholding the finding of probable cause and recommending graft charges against several individuals, including former PS-DBM officials and Pharmally executives, the Ombudsman has taken a strong stance against corruption and irregularities in government procurement processes.

This ruling sends a clear message that those who engage in graft and other illegal activities will be held accountable, regardless of their positions or affiliations. It serves as a reminder that the fight against corruption is a priority for the Philippines, and that no one is above the law.

Moving forward, it will be crucial for the Department of Justice to thoroughly review the case and take appropriate legal actions. The evidence presented by the Office of the Ombudsman should be carefully examined to ensure a fair and just process. It is essential that all parties involved are given the opportunity to present their side of the story and defend themselves against the charges.

Additionally, this case highlights the importance of strengthening regulations and oversight in government procurement. It is vital to have robust systems in place to prevent and detect irregularities, ensuring that public funds are used efficiently and effectively. By addressing the loopholes and vulnerabilities in the procurement process, the government can enhance transparency and accountability, ultimately benefiting the Filipino people.

In conclusion, the Office of the Ombudsman’s ruling on the graft charges related to the procurement of COVID-19 test kits is a significant step towards combating corruption in the Philippines. The decision to uphold the finding of probable cause and recommend charges against several individuals demonstrates a commitment to holding those responsible accountable. As the case progresses, it is crucial for the Department of Justice to conduct a fair and thorough investigation, ensuring that justice is served. This serves as a reminder that corruption will not be tolerated, and that the government is dedicated to promoting transparency and accountability in all its operations.

Source: The Manila Times

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