‘Walang kakwenta-kwentang style:’ Senators unfazed by Yang’s SC plea
MANILA, Philippines — Some senators are unfazed by the petition filed by former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang asking the Supreme Court to nullify the arrest orders and subpoena against him.
“Ang tingin ko walang kakwenta-kwentang style ‘yun. Kayang-kaya ng blue ribbon sagutin yan. Mamaniin nila Quimbo ‘yan,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III told reporters during Thursday’s online press conference when asked about Yang’s petition.
(For me, that’s a worthless style. The blue-ribbon committee is more than capable of answering that. That’s a piece of cake for Quimbo and his team.)
Sotto was referring to Senate blue ribbon committee director-general Rudy Quimbo.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, who held the online press conference with Sotto as part of their election bid, expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the upper chamber.
“Bayaan na lang natin kumita yung abogado [Let’s let his lawyer earn],” Lacson quipped.
“May jurisprudence na actually diyan e. Marami nang sinabihan ang Supreme Court na yung power ng Senado na mag-cite ng contempt dun sa mga resource persons sa pagiging evasive,” he said.
(There’s actually jurisprudence about that already. Many have been told by the Supreme Court that the Senate has the power to cite evasive resource persons in contempt.)
“Kaya ang tinatawanan na lang namin—without preempting ano yung future action ng Supreme Court—pero yun ang pananaw namin dito na hindi magwawagi. Kasi nasa Constitution e,” he added.
(That’s why we’re just laughing it off—without preempting ano yung future action of the Supreme Court—but our view is that they won’t win. The Senate’s power is under the Constitution.)
For her part, Senator Risa Hontiveros shared Lacson’s view, saying that the Senate’s oversight powers are already “well-settled in law.”
“We stand by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. The oversight powers of the senate are well-settled in law and jurisprudence,” she said.
“The resource persons’ evasiveness and their resistance to cooperating with our investigation come at actual great cost to the government,” she added.
Yang’s petition stated that the blue ribbon committee gravely abused its discretion for several reasons and that the arrest orders, as well as the lookout bulletin order against the Chinese businessman, has no legal basis.
Senators are investigating the government’s transactions with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., which was awarded over P8.6 billion worth of supply contracts for medical supplies in 2020 despite being only several months old and having just P625,000 in paid-up capital.
Yang’s name first turned up in the Senate investigation after a 2017 video showed him introducing Pharmally officials to Duterte in Davao City.
It was then disclosed that Pharmally had “borrowed money” from Yang to help them fulfill some of the government’s orders last year.
But Yang had insisted that it was his friends, not him, who funded Pharmally in some of its contracts with the government.