(UPDATE) Two executives of a company that supplied the government with allegedly overpriced and substandard face shields have been arrested based on a contempt charge from lawmakers, a Senate official said Monday.
Siblings Mohit and Twinkle Dargani, executives at Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., were taken into custody at Davao City Airport on Sunday just as they were about to fly to Malaysia via private jet, Senate sergeant-at-arms Ret. Gen. Rene Samonte told reportr.
Sen. Richard Gordon, who leads the Senate investigation on the anamolous COVID-19 supply deals, said it was not surprising that the Darganis sought refuge in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown.
The President had denied allegations of corruption over his administration's use of COVID-19 pandemic funds, accusing lawmakers investigating the matter of politicking.
"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.
"Flight, especially on an expensive international chartered jet, is truly a clear sign of guilt. Evasion has always been the strategy of the guilty," he added.
Gordon said the Dargani siblings would remain detained in the Senate "until they tell the Filipino people the whole truth."
Senators have exposed the alleged high living of the Darganis, which allegedly include buying Porsche and Lamborghini roadsters that are worth tens of millions of pesos each.
The Senate blue ribbon committee earlier cited the Dargani siblings in contempt and ordered their arrest after they refused to submit company documents that the panel had subpoenaed.
During the course of the Senate inquiry, panel chair Sen. Richard Gordon claimed that Mohit and Twinkle had purchased luxury cars after Pharmally bagged billions of government contracts to provide COVID-19 supplies.
Citing records from the Land Transportation Office, Gordon said Mohit owns a P8.5-million Porsche 911 Turbo S, while Twinkle has a P13-million Lamborghini Urus.
The Senate is investigating Pharmally after it bagged over P8 billion in contracts to provide medical supplies last year despite having only P625,000 in paid-up capital.
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