MANILA - Former Presidential Economic Adviser Michael Yang skipped the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Monday, citing health concerns as the reason for his absence.
Yang's doctor advised him not to attend the Senate investigation on how Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp bagged deals with the government, his legal counsel Raymond Fortun told lawmakers.
"His blood pressure had suddenly shot up. He was advised by his doctor to just stay at home. Because of the proceedings, his health has been affected," the lawyer said.
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon said Yang is still compelled to attend the hearing as he is cited in contempt and is staying comfortably at home.
"That always occurs. When somebody is under investigation, they show their picture in a hospital bed and they cannot appear," he said.
"We're not gonna give him a free pass. He is not under pressure there... He can bring his doctor if he wills," he said.
Gordon instructed Fortun to tell his client to attend the hybrid hearing.
"I think he can face the music. We will expect him to appear in the course of the hearing," the senator said.
Last week, Yang denied that he was involved in Pharmally's deals with the Department of Budget and Management's Procurement Service, but the chief of the foreign corporation eventually admitted that they borrowed funds from President Rodrigo Duterte's former adviser.