Senate’s ‘comprehensive probe’ on Michael Yang’s alleged drug links sought
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima has asked the Senate to conduct a “comprehensive probe” into Michael Yang’s alleged involvement in the country’s illegal drug trade.
Yang served as President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic adviser until December 2018.
The proposed Senate inquiry was contained in Senate Resolution No. 1033 filed Thursday by De Lima, who has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame over drug charges.
“A comprehensive probe into Mr. Yang’s alleged link to the illegal drug trade is imperative, as accountability must be sought given his official, high-level capacity as a former Presidential Economic Adviser,” De Lima said in a statement on Friday.
She said the Senate should also look into whether Yang’s position as then presidential economic adviser may have been “abused” for personal benefit and may have impact to national security and welfare.
De Lima noted in the resolution that during Yang’s appointment, the Philippines entered into various loan agreements with China, including what she branded as “onerous, one sided” loan deal for the construction of the P4.3-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation.
“There is a need to inquire into and demand concrete explanation into the citizenship of presidential appointees such as Mr. Michael Yang, with the nature and scope of his work and influence over foreign and economic policy, as a public office held by a foreign national is inimical to national, security, public interest and welfare,” the resolution read.
De Lima’s resolution hinted at Yang’s possible deportation as an undesirable alien, if his involvement in the illegal drug trade or other illicit activities is proven.
She cited a Supreme Court ruling, providing for the power of the state to deport an alien.
“This is without prejudice of course to the filing of appropriate criminal charges against him,” she said in the same statement. /kga
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