Michael Yang SC petition an attempt to distract Blue Ribbon inquiry — Gordon

Michael Yang SC petition an attempt to distract Blue Ribbon inquiry â Gordon
Sen. Richard Gordon is seen in a virtual Senate session on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021 as he maintains that blue ribbon committee investigations into perceived anomalies in government's pandemic procurement will continue.
Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee, said Friday that Michael Yang’s petition to the Supreme Court is a ploy to distract the panel in its investigation into the government's anomalous deals with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. 

In a statement on Friday, Gordon said: “Ang pagsampa niya ng kaso sa Korte Suprema ay bahagi ng desperadong tangkang pagpapaikot sa Senate Blue Ribbon Committee na isinasagawa nitong imbestigasyon sa katiwaliang naganap sa gitna ng pandemya.”

(His filing of the suit before the Supreme Court is part of his desperate attempt to sidetrack the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee conducting an investigation into the anomaly that occurred in the middle of the pandemic.)

The Blue Ribbon Committee chair released the statement a day after Yang, through his lawyer Raymon Fortun, asked the SC to nullify the two arrest orders the Senate issued against him.

In his petition for certiorari, the Chinese businessman and former economic adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte accused the panel of acting with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction "in treating resource persons as if, nay, worse than an accused in regular court proceedings, unrightfully judging their guests as ‘lying’ at the slightest hint of inconsistency and completely ignoring any explanations made."

'Yang lied many times to Senate'

But Gordon maintained that Yang has “lied many times” at the Senate. “Now he is scared to go out of his house after the persons he is in business with, Linconn Ong and siblings Mojit and Twinkle Dargani were nabbed,” he added in Filipino.

At the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings, Pharmally came under scrutiny over its securing of the largest pandemic contracts with the Department of Budget Management's procurement service worth at least P8.68 billion. Senators have borne out that the total contracts awarded by the PS-DBM to Pharmally could actually be as high as P12 billion.

In one of the hearings, Pharmally chairman Huang Tzu Yen finally revealed that Yang actually assisted the firm by acting as its financier and guarantor to Chinese suppliers.

The Senate inquiry also revealed that Yang did not file Income Tax Returns for the taxable years of 2014 to 2017. He earlier told senators that he has been conducting business in the Philippines since 1999. 

For the year 2018, Yang declared a taxable income of P208,000 and paid P7,600 tax. His records for 2019 and 2020 are unreadable, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on October 28. 

Gordon said that for Yang whom he accused of repeatedly lying and even skirting paying taxes, the Philippines has “given so much.”

“To Michael Yang’s expending of time at the Senate and the SC, it should be remembered that ‘(H)e who comes to court must come with clean hands.’ The Committee is protecting the rights of the people, that holds much higher weight that the privilege of a foreigner living a lie,” the senator added.

Yang’s petition is the third legal challenge filed over the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings. Pharmally director Linconn Ong also challenged his continuing detention before the high court, while senators questioned Duterte’s ban on the executive branch from attending the said hearings. — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from Bella Perez-Rubio

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