Mago under House custody

The whistleblower in the ongoing legislative investigation into the alleged overpriced and tampered personal protective equipment for medical frontliners on Friday night voluntarily entered into protective custody of the House of Representatives after being incommunicado for almost a week now.

INCOMMUNICADO NO MORE. Krizle Mago, who blew the lid on the tampered face shields sold by Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. to the Department of Health, is now under the protective custody of the House of Representatives. Mago has been incommunicado for almost a week now, prompting the Senate to request assistance from the National Bureau of Investigation. Mago is shown in this photo with Arturo Catarate, a staff of the House of Representatives.

Pharmally executive Krizle Grace Mago, who said her firm tampered with the expiration dates of the face shields delivered to the Department of Health, was placed under House protection DIWA party-list Rep. Michael Edgar Aglipay said.

Aglipay, chairman of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, said the House took custody of Mago at 6:30 p.m. yesterday.

"She is now safely inside the premises of the House of Representatives," Aglipay said.

In a letter to Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Aglipay said: "In adherence to inter-parliamentary courtesy, may we inform you that Ms. Krizle Grace Mago of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation has been placed under the protective custody of the House of Representatives. Ms. Mago, on her own volition, arrived at the premises of the House of Representatives at exactly 6:30 p.m. this evening."

"Should you require her participation in any of your hearings, please communicate with the Committee Secretariat and we will make the necessary arrangements for it,” Aglipay added.

Gordon earlier offered to place Mago under protective custody of the chamber but the Senate lost contact with her starting Saturday evening.

Part of Mago's letter that Aglipay sent to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco dated Sept. 30, 2021 stated: "The protective custody that I am requesting from the HOR would help me speak freely without unnecessary compulsion from anyone."

"Presently I cannot speak freely about the ongoing investigation on the alleged overprice of medical equipment without feeling threatened due to the undue influence and pressure exerted from various sources."

"Also now, I came across the information from the news that the police and NBI are tracking me down including my grandparents' home in the province and took photos and videos without their consent. I truly regret that I am being treated like a fugitive from justice,” Mago added.

Aglipay's committee initiated the probe in light of the findings of the Commission on Audit on the “discrepancies” in the management of COVID-19 funds entrusted to the DOH last year, particularly in the procurement of P42.4 billion worth of medical supplies and equipment.

The DOH had earlier confirmed that P41.4 billion of that amount was paid to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM), which was tasked to handle big-ticket government procurements for the pandemic.

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