Show-cause order awaits Yang if he doesn’t show up—Barbers

Show-cause order awaits Yang if he doesn’t show up—Barbers

/ 03:02 AM May 22, 2024

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers

MANILA, Philippines — Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has warned businessman Michael Yang that a show-cause order—and eventually, an arrest order—may be issued against him if he fails to attend a House of Representatives committee hearing.

Barbers in a press briefing on Tuesday was asked about the possible recourse for the House committee on dangerous drugs if Yang—who was linked to a warehouse where illegal drugs were stored by way of his translator Lincoln Ong—will not show up.


READ: Rodrigo Duterte’s adviser Yang to be invited to House drug probe


The said panel headed by Barbers is set to discuss the issue on Wednesday.

“If he does not attend, only one thing will happen […] we will issue a show-cause order and if they (still) refuse and ignore the show-cause order (then) we have no other recourse but to issue a warrant against them, because we want them to (show up),” Barbers told reporters at the Batasang Pambansa complex.

READ: P3.6-B worth of shabu seized in Pampanga warehouse

“Because the other individuals invited—those who we have invited for several times already and they are now the subject of arrest—are hopefully brought by our PNP (Philippine National Police), PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) and our NBI (National Bureau of Investigation),” he added.

Barbers said their theory is that there were “shell companies” organized to own the warehouses and these firms were intertwined in the sense that the corporate officials are the same people.

The lawmaker however clarified that they have not accused Yang of anything, saying that they only want the individual to show up and clear his name.


“We are not accusing them yet. Our call is for them to show up, attend the hearing, clarify matters regarding the topic or the issue where their company or name were involved.  And if they fail to attend, maybe some of our colleagues might have a conclusion already,” Barbers said.

“We have a saying which states that ‘the flight is indicative of guilt’,” he added.

Yang, an ex-economic adviser of former president Rodrigo Duterte, grabbed headlines again after Barbers said the businessman would be invited by the committee.

Ong—who was previously dragged in the alleged anomalous procurement of health supplies from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation—was said to be part of the company that owns the warehouse in Mexico, Pampanga where over 500 kilograms of shabu were seized.

READ: Land where Pampanga ‘shabu’ warehouse stood was owned by ex-mayor’s bro

Illegal drugs worth over P3.6 billion were seized in the Pampanga warehouse late September 2023 after the Bureau of Customs and other partner-agencies like the NBI and PDEA allowed a shipment from Thailand to be delivered from the Port of Subic.

Authorities then tracked it down to a warehouse under the name of a so-called Empire 999 Realty Corporation, which is owned by a certain Willy Ong.

READ: House panel orders Pampanga warehouse owner to attend probe on drug case

Yang has not issued any statement on whether he would show up in the hearing.

Last May 13, contacted Atty. Raymond Fortun, Yang’s legal counsel during the height of the Pharmally issue, to ask if the businessman would attend the House hearings.

However, Fortun said he has not talked to Yang since 2022—or after the hearings on Pharmally were terminated.

“I haven’t spoken to him […] since March 2022,” Fortun said in a text message.

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“I haven’t asked, we have not talked,” he added, when asked if he thinks Yang would attend the House inquiry. “The last time I have met him was during the Senate hearings. When the hearings were terminated, we have not spoken since then.”

TAGS: Ace Barbers

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