Senate panel asks DOJ to place Michael Yang on Immigration watchlist, issue hold departure

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2021 10:53 AM | Updated as of Sep 14 2021 01:24 PM

MANILA - The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has formally asked the Department of Justice to place former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang on the Bureau of Immigration's watchlist in case the businessman tries to flee the country in the middle of congressional investigations.

"We would like to request the Mr. Michael Yang aka Yang Hong Ming, former Presidential Economic Adviser, be placed on the Bureau of Immigration Hold Departure Order, Watchlist or Lookout Bulletin, whichever is appropriate," Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon said in a letter to September 13, 2021.

Gordon also asked the DOJ "that the Committee be informed whenever he is about to leave."

Yang - who has a warrant of arrest from the Senate - skipped a Blue Ribbon hearing on Monday, where he was expected to answer lawmakers' questions about his involvement in the allegedly questionable transactions of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp with the Department of Budget and Management's Procurement Service.

Yang earlier denied that he had any involvement with Pharmally's deals, but officials of the company later on said that he helped finance the procurement of several pandemic supplies.

While Yang said he was willing to cooperate with the Blue Ribbon investigation, the businessman disobeyed the panel's directive to attend its September 13 hearing.

Yang was advised by his doctor to take a 5-day bed rest due to hypertension, his legal counsel told senators.

Yang is reportedly staying at the Dusit Hotel in Davao City.

The DOJ earlier said that it was ready to issue a lookout order against Yang and 7 other individuals involved in the Senate investigation on how the Department of Health (DOH) spent billions of pandemic funds.

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