Pharmally

Lawyer of Dargani siblings used to work for Malacañang

Pia Ranada
Lawyer of Dargani siblings used to work for Malacañang

INTERCEPTED. The Dargani siblings (in blue long sleeves and white shirt) at the Senate premises in Pasay City after getting arrested in Davao City on November 14, 2021.

Senate photo

One of the lawyers of the embattled Pharmally executives used to work under an office formerly handled by presidential aide and now senator Bong Go

Malacañang confirmed that one of the lawyers listed by the Dargani siblings as their legal counsel while detained by the Senate used to work for the Office of the President, specifically an office formerly handled by Senator Bong Go.

The name of the lawyer is Daryl Ritchie Valles.

“Based on the records of the Human Resources Management Office, the lawyer was formerly under the Office of the President, and resigned on 1 March 2021,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Wednesday, November 17.

Nograles is acting presidential spokesperson after Harry Roque resigned to run for senator in the 2022 elections.

A handwritten letter from Pharmally Pharmaceuticals executives Twinkle and Mohit Dargani to the Senate blue ribbon committee lists down “Atty. Daryl Valles” as one of four lawyers representing them.

The other lawyers are Don Kapunan, Demetri Felix, and an unknown lawyer who’s identity was listed as “pending – to be confirmed.”

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Worked under Bong Go?

This 2018 directory of Malacañang officials on the Office of the President website lists down Daryl Ritchie Valles as having served as a director in the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP).

The OSAP was especially created for Bong Go, who, from 2016 to 2018, served as Special Assistant to the President. In late 2018, he resigned to run for senator.

At the time of the directory, Go had already resigned as SAP. However, a Palace source says Valles had worked under OSAP since 2016.

Nograles said that after leaving his Palace post, Valles worked in an “office under the House of Representatives.”

Senators have long accused Pharmally Pharmaceuticals of benefiting from ties to Malacañang in its bid for huge government contracts. The embattled firm ended up becoming the government’s biggest pandemic-time supplier, raking up at least P10 billion worth of deals.

One of Pharmally’s alleged financiers, Michael Yang, used to be Duterte’s economic adviser. Many of the firm’s contracts and purchase orders with the government were signed by Lloyd Christopher Lao, a procurement service official who also used to work for Malacañang, under Go’s office. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.