MANILA — An accountant hired by the embattled Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. on Thursday denied seeing a document that allegedly proves an officer actually secured cash advances for a luxury car after securing billions in supply deals in the event of a pandemic with the government.
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Richard Gordon said Mohit Dargani, secretary and treasurer of Pharmally, allegedly borrowed money from the company to buy a luxury car for his sister Twinkle, president of the business.
But outsourced accountant Jeff Mariano said he had seen no documents reflecting such transactions.
Being an outsourced accountant means that he only records transactions based on the documents presented. However, he pointed out that he is familiar with the company’s audited financial statements.
“Wala po akong nakitang car-related cash advances, ‘yun po’ yung ibig kong sabihin,” Mariano explained.
(I haven’t seen any car-related cash advances. That’s what I mean)
Earlier, Mariano said he “wasn’t sure” of the details because the books are in Pharmally’s office. This is why Gordon made it clear that what he said was true.
“Sinabi mo na ‘wala akong nakita kanina’,” the lawmaker said.
(You said earlier that you hadn’t seen any.)
To which the accountant replied, “Regarding the car po, parang wala po akong maalalang cash advance.”
(I don’t remember cash advances)
Further pressed if he even checked where the money might have been used, Mariano said he was only hired to record transactions.
“We are not required to inquire with management, we rely solely on the veracity and veracity of his mga pag-ano po ‘yung engagement nila (of their engagement),” he said.
Outside accountant Iluminada Sebial, the person who signed off on the transactions, in previous Senate hearings said she was also hired to do the same and only paid 4,000 pesos.
The Darganis were absent from the day’s hearings, even though they have a contempt order for refusing to submit crucial documents that would show their dealings.
Dargani on Oct. 5 said he asked Pharmally’s board if he could get the money for the car “verbally.”
“I asked the board if I can, yes… it’s a verbal agreement,” Mohit had said.
Land Transportation Office (LTO) records showed that Twinkle registered a 2021 Lamborghini Urus under his name in December 2020, approximately 9 months after their first transaction with the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS- DBM).
This vehicle is worth 25 million pesos.
Five months later, Mohit had a 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S registered in his name. The car costs 8.5 million pesos.
When asked by senators if he had even seen a dividend among shareholders for Mohit’s supposed cash advance, Mariano said he had seen none last year and this year.
“Based on po, if I remember correctly, po parang wala pa pong (there are no) dividends,” he said, noting that they record Pharmally’s transactions monthly.
“If memory serves, po parang wala pang dividends,” he repeated.
The Senate panel is investigating Pharmally after records showed the Budget Department’s procurement department awarded billions of pesos in government contracts to the company that had less than a million pesos in paid-up capital.
The government denies there was excessive pricing and said the deals were over the edge.
The panel has so far recommended the filing of various charges against Pharmally executives, Chinese businessman and former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang, and former undersecretary of the budget Christopher Lao, among others, in reason for the allegedly abnormal transactions.