Covid CPI tries to find runaway lobbyist

posted on 09/03/2021 06:00

Aziz gets annoyed when he reads Sírio's report on Tolentino, who should go to the CPI - (credit: Roque de Sá/Agência Senado)

Aziz gets annoyed when he reads Sírio’s report on Tolentino, who should go to the CPI – (credit: Roque de Sá/Agência Senado)

Lobbyist Marconny Faria, appointed as a key part of the contract signed between Need Medicines and the Ministry of Health, simply fled the testimony yesterday at Covid’s CPI, irritating the senators who now want him to attend anyway. The president of the collegiate, Omar Aziz (PSD-AM), and the vice, Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP), filed a request with the Federal Supreme Court (STF) asking for authorization for Marconny to be brought to the commission by force.

Minister Carmen Lúcia, of the STF, upheld the decision that forced the lobbyist to testify as a witness and rejected a defense request to reconsider the opinion given on Wednesday. The lawyers once again argued that he is being investigated by the Federal Public Ministry for facts under investigation by the CPI and, therefore, should be released from appearing before the senators.

Carmen Lúcia, however, said that the defense did not bring arguments or new facts that would justify the review of the decision. He further noted that the commission of inquiry reaffirmed, “expressly and underlined”, that Marconny was summoned as a witness. As such, he must attend the interrogation and commit to telling the truth, but he may refuse to answer questions that could incriminate him.

The CPI leadership also asked the Federal Police to retain the lobbyist’s passport. There is also, on the part of the senators, the intention to call Interpol to detain him if he manages to flee the country.

Marconny’s situation began to get complicated when the doctor who had granted him a certificate that allowed him to take 20 days off work — something the senators considered unprecedented, as they had never seen such a long layoff — informed the CPI that he would revoke the document he had issued. More: that he withdrew the authorization because he suspected that Marconny had faked the symptoms that led to the issuance of the report.


But it wouldn’t just be because of Marconny’s connections with Conceição that the senators wanted to hear from him. After the interruption of the session so that tempers could calm and there was a rearrangement in the day’s planning, the senators exhibited contents of conversations from the lobbyist’s cell phone, seized in Operation Host and transferred by the Federal Public Ministry of Pará (MPF) to the CPI. The messages revealed that Ana Cristina Valle, former wife of President Jair Bolsonaro and mother of Jair Renan, son 04, had Marconny’s help for appointments in public bodies, including the Ministry of Health.

According to the records, Marconny had been in direct contact with Jair Renan since 2019. First, the subjects revolved around amenities, but dialogues about possible deals after Karina Kufa, the president’s lawyer, introduced them and the mother of 04.

“Perhaps it is good manners to present to Brazil the set of information we hold. I repeat: Mr. Marconny is not the lord of a lobby, he is the almighty lord of all the lobbies”, provoked Randolfe.

Another who also did not appear at the CPI and delivered a medical certificate claiming “tingling” was Marcos Tolentino, appointed as a hidden partner of the company FIB Bank, who issued a letter of guarantee to Necessidade so that he could close a deal with the Ministry of Health. like Marconny, he angered the senators.

That’s because, despite having been admitted to the Hospital Sírio-Libanês, in São Paulo, on Wednesday afternoon, a few hours later he gave an interview to the website O Antagonista without, apparently, expressing any discomfort or the problem he alleged to the doctors who attended him — and whose video was shown at the CPI session.

Senators wall up former DF secretary

  (credit: Pedro França/Agenzia Senate)

credit: Pedro França/Agenzia Senate

In a statement to Covid’s CPI, the former Health Secretary of the Federal District Francisco Araújo Filho denied knowing the owner of Need Medicines, Francisco Maximiano, or any representative of the company. He also defended himself from the accusations of overpriced purchases of tests against the new coronavirus during his time at the Federal District’s health department. But this did not convince Senators Leila Barros (Citizenship-DF), Izalci Lucas (PSDB-DF) and Reguffe (Podemos-DF), who noticed several inconsistencies in the responses they received.

Araújo was arrested in August 2020 during the Federal Police’s Operation Falso Negativo. The investigation included illegalities in the acquisition of rapid tests to detect covid-19 for the public health network. The purchase would involve Precise. “I don’t know the owners. I never had any relationship or contact with people, owners or businessmen of the company”, he guaranteed. At the time, the transaction was closed with Global Medicamentos, today the company Necessidade.

The former secretary contested the assessment of the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) that there was an overpricing in obtaining tests of the Livzon brand, which Need sold for a unit price of R$ 139.90 — the GDF obtained 150,000 tests. According to Izalci, Produtos Médicos Hospitalares Ltda. offered a proposal to sell each test for R$73, but was still disqualified. According to Araújo, this was because the company was unable to deliver the amount required by the secretariat within the stipulated period, due to the advance of the pandemic in the DF. Izalci, however, countered and pointed to the low quality of Livzon’s material, which had approximately 13% false negative results.

Regarding the accusations of overpricing of purchases from the tests for the amount of R$ 180, offered by the Luna Park Toys store – the maximum value observed so far was R$ 110 -, Araújo said that the price of the input soared due to the unavailability of the product in the other companies participating in the process.

Reguffe presented information from an audit by the TCU that points to evidence of irregularities in the choice of the toy company to purchase tests. Araújo defended himself by stating that despite the company’s corporate name referring to toys as well, it was able to sell tests. Asked again if the former secretary saw something “wrong” in the secretariat, Araújo explained that “at first, from the first wave (from covid-19), we were all totally unaware of that scenario and many inputs became much more expensive. If there was any mistake, I was looking for my best”. (TA and CN with State Agency)