The Senate blue ribbon committee is zeroing in on the questionable business dealings of President Rodrigo Duterte's former economic adviser Michael Yang after senators agreed to summon one of his business associates, Rose Nono Lin.
It was opposition senator Risa Hontiveros who formally moved on Friday, September 10, to issue a subpoena against Lin as the blue ribbon committee resumed its investigation into anomalous pandemic contracts that have been linked to Yang.
Hontiveros described Lin as the key person to help senators connect the country's biggest pandemic contracts supplier Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation with the Philippine Full Win Group of Companies Inc. chaired by Yang.
Hontiveros said Lin is an incorporator of Philippine Full Win.
Lin is in fact an incorporator or officer at all seven companies in Yang's network scrutinized by Rappler. Out of the seven, she is even president of three firms.
She said the chairman of Full Win's office based in Xiamen, China, is Yang's business associate, Zheng Bingquiang, who is wanted in Taiwan for stock manipulation along with two executives of Pharmally.
"It seems these people run in the same circles. Dapat masagot nila ang ugnayan nilang lahat at kung bakit mukhang ang lakas nila sa Pangulo. Naniniwala akong hindi habambuhay matatago ang anumang alingasaw at baho," said Hontiveros.
(It seems these people run in the same circles. They need to answer the links connecting them to each other and why they appear to be close to the President. They cannot hide the stench forever.)
Senate blue ribbon committee chair Richard Gordon said an invitation to attend the next hearing had been sent to Lin, but a subpoena will be forthcoming.
"We are ordering [the issuance of] a subpoena to Ms. Rose Nono Lin," said Gordon.
If Lin refuses to heed the summons, senators may cite her in contempt and issue an arrest warrant to compel her to attend.
Facing an arrest warrant, Yang finally faced the Philippine Senate on Friday after previously ignoring two subpoenas. He attended the hearing virtually from his hotel room in Dusit Thani Residence Davao in Davao City, the bailiwick of Duterte.
A Rappler investigation found that Lin and Lin Weixiong – who appears to be her husband based on her social media posts and their common last names – have started a POGO firm named Xionwei Technology Company during the Duterte administration.
Lin is the president of Xionwei, which was registered as a Philippine corporation in August 2016, or just two months after Duterte was sworn in as president.
Hontiveros said Lin seems to be contemplating to run as congresswoman of Quezon City's 5th district, since her tarpaulins have been plastered around the area. Lin also has her own YouTube channel and is currently active on social media.
A March 2020 Chinese news write-up, meanwhile, identified Lin Weixiong as a president of Xionwei.
He is believed to be the same person as the drug suspect named in the now controversial intelligence report by veteran anti-drug operator Eduardo Acierto.
Lin Weixiong bears some resemblance to Allan Lim, a drug personality whom the intelligence report alleged worked with Yang to bring shabu into the Philippines.
But Duterte, who ran and won on an anti-drug campaign in the 2016 elections, was quick to dismiss Acierto's intelligence report that mentioned Lin Weixiong.
The President has also been defending Yang amid the recent anomalies being uncovered in the Senate's ongoing probe into pandemic contracts.
Read a copy of Hontiveros' presentation during the Senate hearing below:
– with a report from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com
Read the other stories from the September 10, 2021, Senate blue ribbon committee hearing: