Lawyer wants Hontiveros’ office probed over witness bribery

By Benjamin Pulta

September 29, 2021, 8:52 pm

<p>Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio (File photo)

MANILA – Ferdinand Topacio, a lawyer of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., on Wednesday called for an investigation of Senator Risa Hontiveros’ staff who allegedly bribed a former Pharmally worker to give false testimony in the Senate inquiry that the face shields procured by the government were substandard.

Topacio said he has asked the anti-corruption group Citizens' Crime Watch (CCW) to investigate the video showing another Pharmally warehouse staff who claimed his former co-worker received money from Hontiveros’ lawyer in exchange for false testimony.

In the video presented by Topacio in a press conference, the warehouse staff said his former co-worker he identified as “V-Jay” was paid through the lawyer's driver.

“Nabayaran siya para siraan si Ms. (Krizle) Mago at Pharmally (He was paid to testify against Ms. Mago and Pharmally),” the warehouse staff said. “’Dun po mismo ako nagtatrabaho sa warehouse at alam ko po ‘yung ginagawa namin ay tama at walang nangyayaring anomalya (I work in the warehouse and I know we are doing right and there is no anomaly).”

During the Senate hearing last Friday, Hontiveros showed a video of the former Pharmally employee who said they were instructed by the management to change the manufacturing date of the government-procured face shields for medical workers.

"It turns out it is the people's patience with their style and politicking that has expired and not the face shields as they claimed,” Topacio said.

The next Senate blue ribbon committee hearing will resume on Thursday. (PNA)