SENATE President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III said the Senate will not be threatened and vowed that they will continue to do its mandate.
“Never threaten or call the Senate names! What do they expect by threatening the Senate? That we roll over and die? Will never happen, ”Sotto said in reaction to Atty. Ferdinand Topacio’s statement that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has not been a fair forum.
“This is a kangaroo forum. The Blue Ribbon, not all ha? Some members of the Blue Ribbon committee are not out to get the truth. They’re out for blood. Kaya naman unfair sa kliyente ko kung siya ang gagawing pawn, gagawing sacrificial lamb para makakuha ng dugo,” said Topacio, legal counsel of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation director Linconn Ong.
Meanwhile, Ong backed out of the executive session or closed door meeting with senators in connection with the government procurement of COVID-19 medical supplies from his company.
In a handwritten letter addressed to the Senate blue ribbon committee, Ong said he declined to have an executive session upon the advice of Topacio.
“I regret to inform you that, acting upon the advice of counsel, I’m declining your kind invitation for me to participate in the executive session regarding the matter under investigation,” he said.
Ong, earlier admitted that it was former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang who loaned Pharmally the money it needed to deliver billions worth of medical supplies to the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, refused to disclose to the Senate how much money Yang had lent to Pharmally prompting the senators on Friday to move for his transfer to either the Pasay City Jail or the New Bilibid Prison.
The Blue Ribbon panel allowed Ong to consult his legal counsel before deciding if he would avail of the executive session or not.