Controversial former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang on Monday, Sept. 20, claimed that he never financed Pharmally Pharmaceutical’s P8 billion questionable transactions with government but helped it find friends to bankroll the deal.
Yang, a Chinese national, denied claims by Pharmally officers that he was the source of the money they used in importing face masks, face shields and other COVID-19 supplies.
The Pharmally executives made the claim when grilled in several Senate hearings on how they could have delivered the order of Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management when they have only a paid-up capital of P625,000 as a corporation.
Now driving flashy sports cars after getting as much as P8 billion in supply deals with government, the Pharmally officers pointed to Yang as the financier.
Facing administration congressmen demonstrating eagerness to dismiss accusations of anomalies in the PS-DBM – Pharmally deals, Yang, who spoke through an interpreter, claimed compatriots in his country China were the real financiers.
“Hindi po pera niya, but iyong mga ipinakilala po niyang mga kaibigan. (Its not his money but its from friends he introduced.) It’s the money of his friends,” said the interpreter, responding to a question from DIWA Partylist Rep. Michael Aglipay, chairman of the House Committee on Good Government.
Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas followed on the information by asking Pharmally Director Linconn Ong about the firm’s finances. She asked Ong to tell the House panel about the supposed financing deal.
However, Ong claimed they are bound by a “non-disclosure agreement” with Yang, thus, he is not in liberty to refveal the names of the financiers. It was Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers partylist Rep. France Castro who was able to get Yang to identify the sources of Pharmally funds.
Yang, who served as President Duterte’s economic adviser in 2017 to 2018, revealed Chinese names that lawmakers found hard to understand. He was, instead, asked to write down them down.
During the majority bloc solons took turns in pointing out biases in a parallel probe being conducted by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee whose members exposed alleged overpricing in the Pharmally deal.
Aglipay drew a comparison between the Senate and Lower House inquiries, insisting that his committee merely wants to know the truth about the overpricing controversy and not to make a public spectacle out of the proceedings in order to draw media mileage for those seeking a higher public office next year.
He then pointed out that four senators involved in the Blue Ribbon hearings are eyeing a higher public office. He was apparently referring to Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Senators Panfilo Lacson, who have declared their bid for 2022, and Richard Gordon, panel chairman, among the four.
“In the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearings, we see and hear at least four (presidential bets),” Aglipay said in his opening remarks.
After interpellating the resource persons whom Senate linked to the allegedly anomalous PS-DBM deals, Aglipay called Deputy Speaker and Sagip partylist Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, recently named by PDP-Laban (Cusi wing) as a guest senatorial candidate, to question the resource speakers.