(UPDATED) Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation director Liconn Ong has been put under house arrest by the Senate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Monday, September 13, 2021.
The Senate blue ribbon committee moved to order the arrest of Ong because the latter has been evasive in his answers to the senators’ questions related to Pharmally’s P8.68-billion contract with the government.
Former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang was also ordered arrested, but the Senate sergeant-at-arms failed to locate him Monday.
His lawyer, Raymund Fortun, said Yang couldn’t attend the hearing because his blood pressure shot up.
Ong, meanwhile, was no longer brought to the Senate because he has coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Sotto said.
The Senate first issued arrest warrants against Yang and Pharmally executives, including Ong, on Friday, September 10, for failure to respond to invitations to appear before the blue ribbon committee.
The committee is looking into the deficiencies in the use of the Department of Health’s Covid-19 response funds.
On Friday evening, Pharmally executives confirmed that Yang had financed the procurement of medical supplies since the Philippine government paid for these only after these were delivered.
Pharmally was contracted to supply face masks and face shields, personal protective equipment and Covid-19 testing kits to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management, which procured the supplies in behalf of the DOH.
Meanwhile, Ong said he has been receiving several death threats through text messages since he appeared before the Senate panel.
“Mister chair, ang dami ko na pong natanggap na death threat...Ang dami na pong nadadamay sa nangyayari na ito. Natatakot na po ako,” he told the committee on Monday.
He said he has turned off his cellular phone out of fear.
Ong said one threat said he and his family would be killed if he would not admit his connection to President Rodrogo Duterte. (SunStar Philippines)