Supreme Court of the Philippines

Michael Yang’s SC case ‘desperate attempt to distract’ Pharmally probe

Mara Cepeda
Michael Yang’s SC case ‘desperate attempt to distract’ Pharmally probe

Senator Richard Gordon presides over the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the Pharmally scandal on September 27, 2021.

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Senate blue ribbon committee chair Richard Gordon is unfazed, saying ex-Duterte adviser Michael Yang has repeatedly lied to his panel

Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Richard Gordon shot back at President Rodrigo Duterte’s former adviser Michael Yang, saying the latter’s Supreme Court (SC) case against the panel is a “desperate attempt to distract” the ongoing probe into anomalous pandemic contracts. 

On Friday, November 26, Gordon was unfazed after Yang went all the way to the SC to challenge the blue ribbon panel’s two arrest warrants against him for initially failing to attend the hearings, then giving evasive answers to senators when he did show up. 

“Maraming beses nang nagsinungaling si Michael Yang sa Senado… Ang pagsampa niya ng kaso sa Korte Suprema ay bahagi ng desperadong tangkang pagpapaikot sa Senate blue ribbon committee sa isinasagawa nitong imbestigasyon sa katiwaliang naganap sa gitna ng pandemya,” said Gordon in a statement.

(Michael Yang has lied to the Senate many times… His filing of the Supreme Court is part of his desperate attempts to distract the Senate blue ribbon committee in its ongoing investigation into the corruption happening in the middle of the pandemic.)

The blue ribbon committee earlier uncovered that Yang is the financier and guarantor of the controversial Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, a newly opened undercapitalized company that cornered around P10 billion worth of pandemic contracts under Duterte. 

Recent hearings showed that Yang, Pharmally’s executives, and his other business associates may have possible tax liabilities, too

Even with two arrest warrants, however, the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms is still having difficulty locating Yang. 

His last publicly known location was in Davao City, the home turf of Duterte and where Pharmally officials and siblings Mohit and Twinkle Dargani were apprehended before their attempt to escape the Philippines. 

The Darganis, who like Yang were earlier cited in contempt by the Senate, are currently under the chamber’s custody. 

For Gordon, Yang has no business filing case with the SC following the multiple allegations hounding him in relation to the Pharmally scandal. 

Sobra-sobra na ang pagbibigay ng Pilipinas. Sa pag-uubos ni Michael Yang sa oras ng Senado at Korte Suprema, marapat alalahanin ang kasabihang, ‘He who comes to court must come with clean hands,” Gordon said. 

(The Philippines has given him so much. With Michael Yang wasting the time of the Senate and the Supreme Court, we must remember the saying that goes, “He who comes to court must come with clean hands.”)

The Senate blue ribbon panel is set to resume its investigation on the Duterte government’s pandemic contracts with Pharmally at 2 pm on Friday. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.