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Senator raises questions on immigration bureau in Pharmally officers’ attempted flight out

SENATOR ANA Theresia “Risa” N. Hontiveros-Baraquel on Wednesday questioned the role of the Bureau of Immigration in the attempted flight out of the country of two officials of a company under probe for alleged anomalies in pandemic supply contracts, and their subsequent arrest just before take-off.

“Despite the fact that Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order was already issued against the Darganis as early as Sept. 25, they almost got through our gates,” Ms. Hontiveros told the media via Zoom.

She was referring to siblings Twinkle and Mohit Dargani, president and corporate secretary of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., respectively.

They were arrested by a team from the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms at the Davao International Airport on Nov. 14 while already on board a chartered flight. They have since been brought to and detained at the Senate.

Ms. Hontiveros cited the incident report from the bureau dated Nov. 14, saying that “upon arrival of the passengers, they were presented to the immigration personnel at the ramp near the aircraft and were checked personally one by one with their passport, and they were allowed to board the aircraft.”

She said the immigration officers were either accomplices or the reason the government was able to intercept the flight.

The senator will bring up the matter during the next blue ribbon hearing on Friday. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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