SEVEN BUSINESS GROUPS and six universities called on the national government to cooperate in the investigation on questionable purchases of pandemic supplies after a Pharmally Pharmaceutical executive was placed under the protective custody of the House of Representatives.  

“The allegations, testimonies, and documents provided regarding the use of public funds meant to acquire items to minimize the threat to the lives of our citizens occasioned by the pandemic are very sobering. If true, the context would make the wrongdoing particularly onerous and deserving of the full force of sanctions on its perpetrators that our justice system provides,” they said in a joint statement on Sunday.    

The groups also called on all parties, especially lawmakers and executive officials, to conduct their investigations on the purchases made between the government and Pharmally with “integrity, transparency, and respect, and in compliance with (existing) laws.”  

“Our frontliners and the Filipino people deserve a full and fair accounting. As well, the pursuit of good governance is a pillar of the just, inclusive, and functioning society we aspire to.”  

The statement was signed by the following: Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Investment Houses Association of the Philippines, Judicial Reform Initiative, Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Shareholders Association of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Naga University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, De La Salle University, and De La Salle Philippines. 

The statement comes after Pharmally executive Krizle Grace Mago voluntarily placed herself under the protective custody of the House of Representatives to “help (her) speak freely without unnecessary compulsion.” 

Days prior, she could not be contacted by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee following her revelation that certificates of some two million face shields that expired last year were changed to 2021.  

Senator Richard J. Gordon, Sr. said in a DZBB interview Sunday that he hoped that the House’s custody of Ms. Mago will not hamper their investigations.  

President Rodrigo R. Duterte said Friday evening that he would formally bar Cabinet members such as Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III from testifying in the Senate probe on the Pharmally purchases.  

House lawmakers are set to continue their investigation on Monday while the Senate resumes its probe on Tuesday. — Russell Louis C. Ku 

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