Yang denies ties with Pharmally but admits firm sought his ‘assistance’
MANILA, Philippines — Former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang on Friday told senators he has “nothing to do with” Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. but admitted that the small firm sought his “assistance.”
Yang, who was accompanied by an interpreter, showed up at the Senate blue ribbon committee probe and was asked about his relations with Pharmally, which bagged over P8.6 billion in government deals to supply pandemic response goods, which some senators earlier flagged as “overpriced.”
“We’d like to clarify, in terms of registration or set up of Pharmally Pharmaceutical, Mr. Yang has nothing to do with it,” Yang’s interpreter said, quoting the Chinese businessman who spoke in Mandarin.
“In terms of operation, Mr. Yang has not been involved or he has no idea,” the interpreter added.
Senator Panfilo Lacson was the one who asked Yang about his ties with the small corporation.
“When, how, and why did you become involved with Pharmally?” Lacson inquired.
In response, Yang, through his interpreter, said “doesn’t know” Pharmally and that he “has no relation” with the firm.
Reminded by Lacson that he is under oath, Yang said he was only made aware of Pharmally “through the news.”
“What Mr. Yang said was initially he didn’t know the existence or whereabouts or anything about Pharmally Pharmaceutical, later on they did approach him for some assistance,” Yang’s interpreter added.
Yang was linked to the controversial procurement after a 2017 video showed him introducing Pharmally officials to President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City.
Yang confirmed that in 2017, he met the president of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., Huang Tzu Yen, who is also present in Friday’s hearing.
“During the 2017, he met Mr. Huang Tzu Yen together with his father and after that they have no communications,” Yang’s interpreter told senators.
Huang’s father sits as chairman of Pharmally’s Taiwan-based parent company.
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