Senate of the Philippines

Senate releases Pharmally’s Twinkle Dargani for ‘humanitarian reasons’

Mara Cepeda
Senate releases Pharmally’s Twinkle Dargani for ‘humanitarian reasons’

HOT SEAT. Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation president Twinkle Dargani attends the Senate blue ribbon hearing on November 26, 2021.

Albert Calvelo/Senate PRIB

(1st UPDATE) The Pharmally president, who has COVID-19, has been freed due to her 'deteriorating' mental health condition

MANILA, Philippines – Twinkle Dargani, president of the embattled Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, walked free from her weeks-long detention in the Senate. 

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Monday, January 10, that he and Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Richard Gordon agreed to release Dargani to her mother Deepa for “humanitarian reasons,” as the latter cited her daughter’s “deteriorating mental health condition.”

Dargani also tested positive for the coronavirus while staying at the Senate, which is under lockdown until January 16 after several staff and senators got infected with the virus.

Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Minority Leader Frank Drilon both concurred with Dargani’s release.

Sotto said he ordered Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Rene Samonte to release the Pharmally executive on Monday night. She was released at 12:15 am on Tuesday, January 11.

“Her mother has promised to present her to the Senate whenever she is needed by the Senate blue ribbon committee,” Sotto said in a statement.

Senate releases Pharmally’s Twinkle Dargani for ‘humanitarian reasons’

The Senate blue ribbon panel earlier moved to detain Dargani and two other Pharmally executives – her brother Mohit Dargani and Linconn Ong – for failing to present the allegedly missing financial documents of their firm during the ongoing probe into the multibillion-peso pandemic contracts that Pharmally bagged under President Rodrigo Duterte. 

Mohit Dargani and Ong had since been transferred to the Pasay City Jail. Owing to her mental health concerns, Twinkle was allowed to stay in the Senate instead. 

The Pharmally probe was set to resume on Thursday, January 13, but was postponed due to the lockdown in the chamber.

The Philippines is now experiencing a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant. On Monday, the country tallied 33,169 new COVID-19 infections, the highest single-day record since the pandemic began in March 2020. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.