Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executive Krizle Grace Mago on Monday said her statement before the Senate that the company “swindled” the government when it tampered with the expiration dates of the face shields was a “pressured response.”
Mago told the House of Representatives that her experience at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing was “extremely traumatic” as she was accused of lying and threatened with contempt.
“Given the level of pressure I was under and the rush of emotions associated with the allegations and my subsequent admission, I was not in the best frame of mind to think clearly,” Mago said during the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability probe on the procurement of alleged overpriced Covid-19 supplies.
“Personally, I was perplexed as to how I could be perceived as a liar when I was simply responding directly to questions based on facts reflected on the records, which I even promptly forwarded to the committee upon request,” Mago said.
Mago revealed she also tested positive for Covid-19 during the Senate hearings.
“Additionally, the overwhelming pressure and intense scrutiny of the investigations have had a detrimental effect on my mental health,” Mago said. “Over and above these, my personal mobile phone number and address were also revealed, resulting in unwanted harassment and distressing messages.”
In a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on September 24, Mago admitted via video testimony that she was instructed to order the warehouse staff to alter the expiry dates on medical-grade face shields.
“At the time, I considered the fact that we had already delivered a portion (28 percent) of the face shields to DOH (Department of Health), which prompted my response, ‘I believe that is the case’,” she said.
She said that after the Senate hearing, she realized that the delivered items had not been inspected yet and had not been allocated and distributed to the end-users.
“Additionally, we did not receive any payment from the government for the partial delivery,” she said.
In previous House hearings, it was established that the face shields were not overpriced at all, with Commission on Audit Chair Michael Aguinaldo testifying there were “no findings of overpricing” in the annual audit report.
The panel members were also convinced that the government was never put at a disadvantage when it purchased from Pharmally around two million face shields distributed to medical front-liners.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III had earlier testified before the House that the face shields were “properly distributed to and utilized by health workers”.
Duque also clarified that the established shelf life of face shields is 36 months or three years.