Malacañang on Tuesday said the arrest of the Dargani siblings is proof that Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. is not untouchable under the Duterte administration.
“The President has been very consistent: whoever wants to file cases in court [against Pharmally], go ahead. He has been saying that for the longest time,” acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said.
The siblings—Mohit and Twinkle Dargani—were arrested at around 5 p.m. Sunday at the Davao City Airport by the office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms.
Earlier, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the arrest of the Dargani siblings in her turf only showed the city government remained open and would not discriminate against anyone when it came to law enforcement.
“Our city is not closed to the things that need to be enforced by the government, whether it’s from the judiciary or legislative branches of the government,” the mayor said.
The Darganis were tagged in the alleged anomalous deals their company entered into with the government for the multibillion procurement of COVID-19 medical supplies.
But for Senator Richard Gordon, it was not surprising the Dargani siblings sought sanctuary in President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown of Davao and plotted to execute their grand escape from there.
“Indeed, they chartered a private plane and were leaving via Davao where they figured they could be safe and make law enforcement officers pause or hesitate to arrest them,” Gordon said.
Gordon, chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, led the probe into the irregularities in the procurement of medical equipment to respond to COVID-19.
Gordon said the Darganis would be detained at the Senate until they tell the Filipino people the whole truth.
“We hope they will be more forthright in answering our questions in the next hearing on Nov. 26,” he further said.
Also detained in the Senate is Linconn Ong, another Pharmally executive.
Still at large are former Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service OIC Christopher Lao and former presidential adviser Michael Yang.