Leila De Lima: 'Probe Michael Yang'
De Lima claimed that Michael Yang, whose Chinese name is Yang Hong Ming, has been identifying himself as presidential economic adviser and that his business card carries the official seal of the Office of the President and the logo of his firm, Full Win Company.
Michael Varcas
Leila De Lima: 'Probe Michael Yang'
Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - October 20, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima has called for an inquiry into the alleged appointment of a foreigner as economic adviser of President Duterte, saying this raises questions on national security.

De Lima claimed that Michael Yang, whose Chinese name is Yang Hong Ming, has been identifying himself as presidential economic adviser and that his business card carries the official seal of the Office of the President and the logo of his firm, Full Win Company.

She added that Yang, as adviser, has hosted Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and former foreign affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in his office.

In Senate Resolution 922, she urged the appropriate Senate committee to look into the appointment and see if this would affect national security.

Presidential spokesman and chief legal officer Salvador Panelo said Malacañang would not interfere in the affairs of the Senate and won’t block any inquiry.

“The President does not interfere with a co-equal branch of government. Neither does he interfere with the functions and duties of its members,” he declared, adding that Duterte respects the separation of powers of the legislative and executive branches of government.

Last Oct. 4, in a speech before the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, Duterte revealed Yang’s close relations with Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua and that Yang was part of the Philippine delegation to China.

“The independence of the state from foreign control necessitates that the questionable citizenship of a presidential adviser be authenticated, and the nature and scope of his influence over foreign policy be fully disclosed,” De Lima stressed.

She added: “In conformity with the requirement exacted from public officers to at all times maintain allegiance and loyalty to the Philippines, there is a need to inquire into the citizenship of presidential appointees as public office held by a foreign national is inimical to public interest and welfare.”

The detained senator wanted the Senate to determine the authenticity of Yang’s appointment, his relationship with the President and the extent of his access to sensitive state information. – With Christina Mendez

LEILA DE LIMA MICHAEL YANG
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