Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Richard Gordon says they are wrapping up their probe on the irregular deals made by the Executive department with the capital- and track record-bereft Pharmally Pharmaceuticals for the procurement of pandemic supplies.
Over the past few months the Filipino people were witness to the unsavory revelations during the Senate hearings, where we learned that the officials who are supposed to spend our money prudently blew it, instead, on substandard and overpriced supplies.
We also saw the spectacle of employees disappearing, or talking about luxury cars materializing in their garages, even as no less than the President of the country defended his friends – the company’s executives – and lashed out instead at the lawmakers trying to ferret out the truth.
The incredible events also included the resurfacing of the disappearing employee and the arrest of siblings who were on the brink of escaping to another country – still in luxury, no less.
The shock factor notwithstanding, the Senate probe remains in aid of legislation – how we can ensure procurement processes will be in the interest of the people and not of a certain group of well-connected businessmen – and the committee report will soon be released, we are told.
Many other things have captured our attention since Pharmally. The election season has begun in earnest, substitutions and realignments dominated the headlines, another COVID variant threatens to derail our recovery, and, just recently, a typhoon left hundreds dead and devastated property, livelihood and infrastructure alike.
But let us not forget Pharmally and all it represents. The reason we are where we are and not quite living up to potential is that we never learn from the times we were taken for fools.
In our utter ignorance, or laziness, those who take advantage of us for their own purposes are able to wait the crisis out and then emerge again, free to do as they please, and boss us around even if they do it nicely, as if nothing happened.
Pharmally is many things to many people. Of all these things, let it be a cautionary tale for all of us.