Facing possible arrest, Yang vows to attend Senate hearing on 'overpriced' DOH purchases

The camp of Michael Yang said on Tuesday, September 7, that the former presidential adviser will be attending the Senate Blue Ribbon's next hearing on the allegedly overpriced procurements of COVID-19 supplies and equipment by the government.

President Duterte signs a copy of his portrait for Michael Yang after a private meeting in Malacañan Palace on January 10, 2016. (Toto Lozano/Presidential Photo)

Lawyer Raymond Fortun wrote to Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman and Sen. Richard Gordon to promise the presence and cooperation of Yang in the panel's legislative investigation.

"He has expressed his full and complete cooperation to provide information that your Honorable Committee may need from him in aid of legislation," Fortun said of his client.

This developed after Senate President Vicente Sotto III signed on Tuesday afternoon the arrest warrant sought by Gordon's committee against Yang.

At the resumption of the panel's inquiry, senators moved to cite Yang in contempt for failing to attend their hearings despite notices. Two subpoenas have been issued to compel his presence to no avail.

Sotto's office released to media signed copies of the arrest order against Yang, as well as executives of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation who also did not show up in the committee's fourth hearing.

"Mr. Yang apologizes for his absence in today's hearing, but gives his assurance to be present at the next scheduled hearing of the committee," Fortun told Gordon in his letter.

Yang, President Duterte's former economic adviser, has been linked by senators to Pharmally, which bagged over P8 billion of procurement deals from the Department of Budget and Managament's Procurement Service (DBM-PS) in behalf of the DOH.

Duterte has previously defended Yang.