A party-list representative on Monday questioned a certified public accountant’s statement before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that due diligence was needed in the government’s transactions with Pharmally Pharmaceuticals at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
In a congressional inquiry, Marcoleta grilled Raymond Abrea, a certified public accountant, over his analysis of the financial statements of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, the firm that bagged billions worth of government contracts to purchase COVID-19 supplies.
Marcoleta asked Abrea what was the connection of his remarks in the Senate in determining if the purchase of COVID-19 items were anomalous.
“Ano ang koneksyon noong pinaanalyze sayo ng Senate blue ribbon committee ‘yung financial statements ng Pharmally doon sa subject matter na pinaguusapan doon?” Marcoleta asked.
(What’s the connection of your analysis of Pharmally’s financial statements regarding the subject matter being discussed there?)
Abrea responded that the financial statements could be the basis if there was “due diligence” in the purchase and if the firms have the capacity to enter into procurement contracts.
“‘Yun po ang magiging basehan kung nagkaroon po ng due diligence at may kapasidad po ang contractors ng government, Mr. Chair,” Abrea said.
(That will be the basis if there’s due diligence and if the government’s contractors have capacity.)
“Base po sa kanilang audited FS, maliban po doon sa P625,000 na initial capital ng Pharmally, hindi rin po naging malinaw kung saan po nanggaling ang kanilang financing at supplies,” Abrea added.
(Based on their audited financial statement, aside from their P625,000 initial capital, it was not clear where Pharmally got their financing and supplies.)
Both chambers of Congress have been conducting inquiry into the controversial purchase of COVID-19 items during the onset of the pandemic last year.
Pharmally bagged at least P8 billion worth of contracts for the purchase of the supplies despite its paid up capital of at least P600,000.
Marcoleta said the Bayanihan 1 Law, which allowed the government to have emergency procurement, did not require “due diligence” as regards purchases.
He insisted that the law did not require asking firms about their minimum capitalization or their source of funds.
“Papaano mo sasabihin na due diligence eh wala namang requirement ang Bayanihan 1? Saan mo ibabatay ngayon ‘yung panukat mo o ‘yung standard mo na walang due diligence?” Marcoleta said.
(How could you say due diligence when there’s no requirement from Bayanihan 1 about this?)
Abrea stressed that “due diligence” was important to ensure that the firms the government has made transactions to were all capable.
“Ang due diligence po ay basic principle po ng pagiingat para po masigurado natin na may kapasidad ang kahit sinumang kompanya o indibidwal na makikipagtransaksyon po tayo,” Abrea said.
(Due diligence is a basic principle in ensuring that the company has the capacity to enter into transactions.)
Earlier, Pharmally director Linconn Ong admitted that it was former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang who loaned Pharmally the money it needed to deliver billions worth of medical supplies to the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ong, however, refused to disclose to the Senate how much money Yang had lent to Pharmally.
For his part, Yang had insisted that it was his Chinese friends who “financed’ Pharmally and not him. -NB, GMA News
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