Palace: Michael Yang did not influence awarding of anti-COVID-19 gov’t contracts
MANILA, Philippines — Michael Yang, the Chinese businessman and former economic adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte had no influence in the procurement of supplies to combat COVID-19 amid reports linking him to a company that bagged the bulk of government deals, Malacañang assured Wednesday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made this clear after Yang’s name floated in a Senate inquiry last week after an RTVM video was played showing the Chinese businessman and officials of Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. meeting Duterte in Davao in 2017.
“No,” Roque said in a press briefing when asked if Yang’s supposed ties with Pharmally influenced the awarding of government contracts for the purchase of anti-COVID-19 supplies.
“Wala pong kinalaman ang mga personalidad. Ang tinignan, presyo at kuwalidad,” he added.
(No personality had anything to do with this. What they looked at were the price and quality.)
Roque also assured quotes of items are asked from suppliers before actually awarding the government contract.
“Humihingi yan ng quotes from multiple sources. And the basis of quotes submitted, doon sila magdedesisyon kung kanino ibibigay. So hindi ibig sabihin na palibhasa wala nang bidding, hindi sila humingi ng multiple quotes,” he said.
(They ask for quotes from multiple sources. And they decide on who to award the contract on the basis of the quotes submitted. Just because there’s no bidding, it doesn’t mean they don’t ask for multiple quotes.)
Senators had expressed concern why a bulk of government contracts for the purchase of COVID-19 supplies went to a company that existed only six months before the pandemic and only had P625,000 worth of capital.
It was also flagged for supposedly using “fake addresses” in its registration document in the country and was said to have been marked by the Taiwanese government for financial fraud.
“Ultimately, it’s the price and the specification that matters. Presyo po ang labanan kahit sino ka man,” Roque said.
(Ultimately, it’s the price and the specification that matters. It’s the price that matters whoever you may be.)
The President himself also defended Yang amid controversies surrounding his ties to Pharmally.
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