The government deals with companies and not personalities behind them, Malacañang said on Thursday after Sen. Risa Hontiveros claimed that two officials of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. were wanted for several crimes.

Senators have been questioning the administration’s links to Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., a small company that had been the government’s biggest supplier of medical supplies amid the pandemic.

Hontiveros on Wednesday said that Tony Huang, chairman of Pharmally International Holdings, was wanted for securities fraud, stock manipulation and embezzlement in Taiwan, while his son, Huang Tzu Yen, was wanted for stock manipulation.

Pharmally was incorporated in 2019 with a capital south of P600,000. The corporation won pandemic contracts amounting to P8.68 billion, including a P3.82 billion contract for personal protective equipment that was earlier flagged by Hontiveros as overpriced.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said that under law, corporations are distinct from their stockholders.

“Madam Senator, sa batas po we have a principle that a corporation has a separate personality, separate and distinct from the stockholders. E ang nag-bid po iyong korporasyon so hindi naman po kinakailangan busisiin talaga iyong personalidad nasa likod ng korporasyon kasi nga po separate personality iyon,” he told reporters in a virtual briefing.

“Ang tinitingnan po natin e kung iyong kumpanyang iyon ay blacklisted sa gobyerno dahil hindi nga naka-deliver sa previous transaction o ‘di naman kaya hindi nagbayad ng buwis,” he added.

Roque said that Pharmally was awarded contracts as it offered the lowest prices of medical supplies.

“Iyong terms of payment ng Pharmally e mayroon ngang downpayment na kakaunti pero ‘pag hindi nag-deliver, walang bayad. So parang immaterial talaga kung magkano iyong paid up capital niya at the time na na-incorporate siya dahil ang importante is hindi naman sila mababayaran kung hindi na-deliver. At kaya nga binayaran lang sila noong na-deliver,” he said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro