Hontiveros: Pharmally group seemingly linked to Pogos

Hontiveros: Pharmally group seemingly linked to Pogos

/ 07:49 PM July 10, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros floated on Wednesday the possibility that individuals behind the Pharmally scandal are also involved in the root operations of illegal Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) in the country.

Speaking to reporters in an ambush interview, Hontiveros said it was not necessarily a new matter that the Pharmally scandal is being connected to the current investigation on Pogos.

“Pero mukhang Pharmally group ito, same cast of characters. Kaya mahalagang we get to the root of it, dahil mukhang itong grupong ito, itong Pharmally group, ay posibleng nandun nga sa roots ng problema natin sa Pogo,” said Hontiveros.

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(But it is like the Pharmally group with the same cast of characters. That’s why we need to get to the root of it, because it seems like this group – this Pharmally group — is possibly at the root of our problem in Pogo.)

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Hontiveros made this remark after she revealed in a public hearing that a certain Gerald Cruz of Brickhartz Technologies Inc – whose documents were found in Bamban Pogo hub – was connected to Pharmally Biological Company Inc., a sister company of the controversial Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation involved in a scandal of allegedly overpriced medical supplies it supplied to the government during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But wait, there’s more – Mr. Cruz is also involved in Full Win Incorporation. Kung pamilyar ang pangalan sa pandinig niyo, ito’y dahil ang presidente nitong Full Win ay si Michael Yang,” said Hontiveros.

(If this name sounds familiar, it’s because Full Win’s president is Michael Yang.)

Yang used to be an adviser to former President Rodrigo Duterte. He is among the central figures of the Pharmally scandal.

“In fact, ang Xion Wei Technologies Inc. na sinasabing pagmamay-ari ni Mr. Yang ay pangalan ng email address ng Brickhartz. Sounds familiar? Earlier sa Bamban investigation natin may magkakaparehong email addresses,” said Hontiveros.

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(In fact, the Xion Wei Technologies Inc. purportedly owned by Mr. Yang is the email address name of Brickhartz. Sounds familiar? Earlier in our Bamban investigation, we found similar email addresses.)

With this, Hontiveros said Yang may be involved in the criminal operations related to Pogos.

Later in an ambush interview, Hontiveros was asked whether or not this would tie former President Duterte to illegal Pogo operations in the country.

“Panahon ni Duterte nga nagkaroon ng de facto open door policy at nako-confront tayo hanggang ngayon ng napakaraming masamang epekto. So habang sinusundan namin itong imbestigasyon laban sa Pogo at lumitaw na nga yung koneksyon [ni] Gerald Cruz at papuntang Michael Yang… tingnan natin kung saan tayo aabutin ng ebidensya kung this time around makokonekta yung dotted lines kay Duterte,” she said.

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(During Duterte’s time, we experienced a de facto open door policy [to Pogos] and we were confronted by many negative effects. So while we were following this investigation into Pogo and we’ve seen Cruz’s connection to Yang… we will see to it where the evidence leads us and if this time around the dotted lines to Duterte will be connected.)

READ: Senate summons Guo to Pogo probe, cites lack of ‘good reason to be absent’

TAGS: Hontiveros, illegal POGOs

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