'Magkano inutang?' Linconn Ong mum on Michael Yang loan to Pharmally - Drilon


Posted at Sep 30 2021 08:05 AM | Updated as of Sep 30 2021 08:12 AM

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Pharmally director Linconn Ong is keeping mum about the loan given by ex-presidential adviser Michael Yang to to finance the Pharmally supply deal worth billions of pesos, Sen. Franklin Drilon said Thursday. 

"Isa lang ang tanong ko - magkano ba ang itinulong ni Michael Yang sa Pharmally? Eh ang sagot ay - siya na lang ang tanungin niyo," Drilon told TeleRadyo. 

"Inaamin na nanggaling kay Michael Yang. Hindi lang alam kung magkano ang inutang at magkano ang tinubo o interest man kung meron man at kung may commission ba si Michael Yang dun sa mga purchases at pinahiram na pera." 

(I only have one question - how much did Michael Yang give to help Pharmally? [Ong's answer was - you should ask him.]

(They already admitted [money came] from Michael Yang. What we don't know is how much was borrowed and how much is the interest if any, or if Michael Yang had a commission in those purchases and the loan. ) 

Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp is facing investigation in both houses of Congress after it cornered P8.5 billion in contracts with the Department of Budget and Management's Procurement Service (PS-DBM) between April and June 2020 despite having only P625,000 in capital.

Pharmally chairperson Huang Tzu Yen earlier told senators the company had to borrow money from Chinese businessman and former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang to finance the procurement of face masks and RT-PCR test kits.

"We did receive Mr. Michael Yang's help. We borrowed money from him," Huang told the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

"Since we were not able to finance these things, he offered to lend us the money so we will be able to pay for it. We will pay him back once we receive the money from the government," he said.

Yang earlier denied that he was involved in any transactions of Pharmally, saying he only introduced Huang and Ong to several suppliers in China.

President Duterte has publicly defended the Pharmally deal, saying there was no overpricing in the contracts. 

Drilon said Ong's refusal to reveal what he knows about Yang's role as financier and guarantor of the Pharmally deal prompted senators to place him under detention. Ong has refused to talk upon the advice of his lawyer. 

Ong has also issued an open letter claiming that he is receiving death threats to pin President Duterte in the Pharmally deal. 

Drilon, however, said he has not even asked Ong about any transaction with Duterte. "If there was nothing wrong with the deal, he should talk," he said. 

While a congressman has said that there is nothing wrong with government’s deals with Pharmally, senators have found a number of problems with government’s deals with the firm.