Pharmally official Mago now in House custody

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Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executive Krizle Mago is now in the protective custody of the House of Representatives after days of being out of reach since her bombshell admission that the firm allegedly swindled the government with expired face shields. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 1) — Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executive Krizle Mago is now in the protective custody of the House of Representatives after days of being out of reach since her bombshell admission that the firm allegedly swindled the government with expired face shields.

House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability chairman Michael Aglipay said Mago has been safely inside the House's chambers since 6:30 p.m. Friday.

In a letter addressed to Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon, Aglipay said Mago informed the House panel on September 30 that she wanted to be in protective custody.

The House committee earlier issued a subpoena requiring Mago to attend its hearing on October 4.

A copy of Mago's letter shared by Aglipay stated that she could not speak freely about the ongoing investigation without "feeling threatened due to undue influence and pressure being exerted from various sources."

"I feel that my life and liberty are in grave danger because of my coming out and my desire to speak the truth," Mago said.

This development runs contrary to the statement issued by Pharmally on Tuesday which Mago allegedly penned. In that letter, Mago denied she was hiding from authorities and that she was being threatened by the company. She also asserted that Pharmally was run by good people.

It was on September 26 when Gordon said his Blue Ribbon Committee could no longer reach Mago. Two days earlier, the panel offered her protection following her testimony in a hearing that Pharmally changed the expiry dates of government-procured face shields.

The National Bureau of Investigation was later instructed to conduct a search for the Pharmally official.

In a statement on Saturday, Gordon said he was relieved that Mago was safe.

"Despite her non-appearance in the recent Blue Ribbon hearing, I am glad that she will be available to answer questions that could be asked of her regarding this PS-DBM Pharmally scandal," he said, referring to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management.

Aglipay earlier said those who want Mago to participate in hearings should inform the House committee's secretariat to make the necessary arrangements.