Former Duterte adviser asks SC to stop Senate arrest
MANILA, Philippines — Chinese national Michael Yang, who served as President Duterte’s economic adviser, has asked the Supreme Court to annul the Senate arrest orders and the immigration lookout bulletin against him.
Through lawyer Raymond Fortun, Yang also asked the Supreme Court to command the Senate blue ribbon committee not to compel him to disclose his personal properties and transactions in relation to the investigation into irregularities in the procurement of COVID-19 medical supplies and equipment last year.
Yang, who said he is a permanent resident in the Philippines, was linked to the newly incorporated Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. that bagged P8.8 billion worth of supply contracts.
In his petition to the Supreme Court, Yang insisted that his only role in the process was to refer Pharmally director Linconn Ong to his “friends in China” who were suppliers and lenders.
Yang, who used the name Michael Yang Hong Ming in the petition, said the Senate blue ribbon committee failed to show that “any of his monies had been involved in the procurement by the PS-DBM (Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management) of any medical supplies and equipment from any supplier [including)] Pharmally Pharmaceutical.”
The Senate committee cited Yang in contempt for his “evasive answers” during the hearings and issued a warrant for his arrest on Sept. 7 and 10.
He said the first summons was sent to his office in the morning of Aug. 27, around four hours before the start of the hearing. At that time, Yang said he was in Zambales where there was intermittent phone service, which was why he was informed of the subpoena only the next day.
Regarding the second subpoena, he said it was served at his office again. However, they are in a work-from-home arrangement with him staying in Davao. Then the subpoena was delivered to his house in Makati. The Senate sheriff tried to serve it to his driver which is a violation of the Rules of Court.Yang has appeared before the Senate blue ribbon committee several times afterward.
However, he questioned the Senate committee’s order dated Nov. 9 to disclose his properties, companies, donations, and the “location of Jayson Uson and Gerald Cruz.”
Yang said the Senate committee violated his “rights to privacy by compelling him to reveal his properties, corporate papers and business transactions … including asking about his supposed links to illegal drugs despite the sheer absence of evidence” that are not connected with the legislative inquiry. —WITH A REPORT FROM TETCH TORRES-TUPAS