Pharmally staff retracts claims made during Senate hearing

PHARMALLY Pharmaceuticals Corporation administrative assistant Krizle Grace Mago on Monday, October 4, 2021, retracted her previous statements about the firm swindling the government following the delivery of substandard and expired face shields to the Department of Health (DOH).

During the resumption of the House committee on good governance and public accountability on the irregularities in the use of Covid-19 pandemic response funds by the DOH as flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA), Mago maintained that there were no substandard and expired face shields supplied to the DOH by Pharmally noting that her statement was a “pressured response.”

“Regarding my previous testimonies on the question pertaining to swindling the government, I do admit that it was a pressured response. Given the amount of pressure that I was under at that time and even the rush of emotions associated with the allegations made and my subsequent admission, I was not in the proper frame of mind to think clearly,” she said.

“But after the senate hearing and after I evaluated my answers or my testimonies and I realized that the face shields that we partially delivered to the DOH have not been inspected. Hindi pa nai-inspect and naa-accept ng DOH so hindi parin po siya naa-allocate at nadi-distribute sa mga end users and in addition wala pong natanggap na bayad ang Pharmally from the DOH from these partial delivery,” she added.

Mago was referring to the admission she made during the September 24 Senate hearing, when she answered in affirmative when asked by Senate blue Ribbon committee chairman Senator Richard Gordon if she thinks Pharmally swindled the government.

Mago in the said hearing also confirmed the revelation of one of the Pharmally warehouse personnel presented as witness by Senator Risa Hontiveros that the she gave them the order to tamper the product certificate of the face shields intended for delivery to the DOH to make it look like it was recently manufactured.

She however withdrew that statement of hers saying that Pharmally never nor they intend to deliver damaged and expired products to the government.

Mago said Pharmally conducts its routine quality inspections on the inventory prior to making deliveries to ensure that all the products were in good condition. She said damaged items are being segregated immediately for proper disposal.

She said they opened the packaging of the face shields not only for quality checking but also to pack it consistently for easier and more efficient inventory management and accounting.

She said some face shields were packed individually while others were packed in groups of at least six to 10 face shields.

“I raised the matter in a meeting in August 2021, it has been decided to repack the stocks uniformly in groups of 10 per packaging,” said Mago.

“This is the same instruction that I gave to the warehouse personnel and in the course of the repacking the packaging which had broken qualities were merged together to form ten pieces per packaging and in the conduct of the repacking, the product certificates got mixed up and some were subsequently discarded because the staff only needed to put one product certificate per packaging,” she added.

She further added that the old product certificates of the face shields were dated April 2020 with a validity of three years while the new certificate had a production date of April 2021 with a validity of 24 months.

Mago also said the face shields required by the DOH for this specific contract are non-medical grade as stated in its technical specification.

After making such a revelation at the senate hearing, Mago, according to Gordon went ‘incommunicado’ until she surfaced over the weekend under the protective security of the House of Representatives.

Mago apologized for being off the radar for a few days saying she just needed some time to “breathe and process everything that had just transpired.”

Mago was emotional as she shared the struggles she had to go through especially on her mental and physical health after serving as a resource person in the Senate probe. She said she tested positive of Covid-19 in the course of the hearings.

“While testifying last September 13, 2021, I was questioned about the specifics of the Pharmally’s first contract with PSDBM (Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management) it was extremely traumatic for me to be accused of lying and threatened with contempt and true to their threat they already arrested one of our executives,” she said.

“Personally I was perplexed on how I could be perceived as a liar when I was simply answering questions directly based on the info that was reflected on our records and I even willingly submitted the documents upon request,” she added.

Mago also cried over the violation of her right to privacy when her mobile number and residential address was revealed amid the hearing which “resulted in unwanted harassment and even disturbing messages and calls.” (SunStar Philippines)

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