“MAY you find the strength and the wisdom to tell the truth.”
These were the words of Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan to resigned Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. official Krizle Grace Mago in the conclusion of Friday’s Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the Pharmally scandal.
This after Mago recanted her September 24 testimony that the beleaguered company swapped old certificates of face shields sold to the government, in the process swindling the Philippine government.
Mago admitted that the whole committee investigation was too much for her to handle and that she felt “pressured” into making such an inaccurate response.
“I did feel pressure [during] the whole investigation. At the same time, I was trying not to be evasive and answer questions because there is also a threat of being cited for contempt if I become evasive in the questions of the Senate,” the embattled Mago explained.
Pangilinan, however, has another theory to Mago’s repudiation of her earlier statements, including being intimidated by powers-that-be not to spill the truth.
“I know hindi madali. I’ve seen a lot of these hearings in the last 20 years. Alam kong malaking posibilidad na mayroong tumatakot sa ’yo at may takot ka dahil kapag sinabi mo ay may masasagasaan ka. Iniisip mo lang ang iyong kapakanan, naiintindihan ko iyon,” Pangilinan manifested.
“Nakakatakot nga naman kapag ikaw ay magsalita na may masasaktan o masasagasaan. Ayaw nating lahat iyan. Natatakot tayo kapag mayroon tayong babanggain, o may masasagasaan, o may masasaktan sa katotohanan,” he added.
But amid Mago’s retraction, Pangilinan hopes that the resigned Pharmally official would muster enough courage to rectify the mistake, instead of remaining an accomplice to a heinous crime committed against the Filipino people.
In doing so, Pangilinan told Mago, she would be on the right side of history and would not carry any guilt during her lifetime.
“Bata ka pa, lahat tayo nagkakamali. Maaring mayroon kang kakulangan at mayroon kang pagkakamali. Mabuting mapag-isipan mo dahil sa konteksto ng mga pangyayari sa ating bansa ngayon libo-libo na ang namatay, milyon na ang nagkasakit, tapos maraming wala nang pang-gastos sa ospital at patuloy ang takot,” Panglinan stressed.
“Ito na ang pagkakataon na ma-correct ang mga pangyayari sa pamamagitan ng iyong pagboboluntaryong pagsabi ng katotohanan para hindi na maulit,” he added.