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Shades of De Lima? Filipinos gather behind #ProtectRisa over Pharmally case

Hontiveros is the only dissenting senator to the upcoming Marcos administration.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros’s supporters opposed the assassination of character of the lone opposition lawmaker by Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, the Pharmally lawyer.

Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation officials Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong got released on Thursday morning of June 2 from the Pasay City Jail following six months of detention.

Ong and Dargani were both cited in contempt by the blue ribbon committee for refusing to cooperate in its investigation on the anomalies of the multibillion-peso pandemic contracts forged by President Rodrigo Duterte’s government with Pharmally.

After Senate President Vicente Sotto III signed two separate release orders, Ong and Dargani got their freedom back. Their legal counsel Atty. Ferdinand Topacio accompanied the executives.

Topacio said that the firm could possibly sue Hontiveros for allegedly coercing witnesses to testify against Pharmally.

“Mayroong nagsasabing tinakot, pinilit, sinusugulan sila ng mga tao ni Hontiveros para mag testify falsely against Pharmally. As it is our prerogative to file cases against her for these acts,” Topacio told reporters at the release of his clients from jail.

Hontiveros denied using strong-arm tactics to have witnesses testify against the firm. 

“May resibo kaming nagpapatunay na wala kaming kinoerce na saksi. Wala kaming pinilit na kahit sinuman,” she said in a statement.

Topacio has a shady lawyering history, and the public wasted no time “protecting” Hontiveros.

Liken to Sen. Leila de Lima’s, the woman senator’s situation, where her years of detainment were a set-up from the jump.

Multiple witnesses have already recanted their allegations against De Lima.

Hontiveros is the only dissenting senator to the upcoming Marcos administration.

She campaigned with the outgoing Leni Robredo before the disappointing elections.

Sen. Senator Richard Gordon led the Senate blue ribbon committee hearings last year which discovered that Pharmally won P10 billion in pandemic deals between 2020 and 2021 despite its small capital and questionable track record.

Dargani, his sister Twinkle, and Ong also failed to file income tax returns for several years. Unfortunately, the Senate adjourned the session on Wednesday, June 1, without acting on the draft committee report prepared by Gordon which recommends that cases be filed against Pres. Rodrigo Duterte over the Pharmally issue.

Written by Charles Teves

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