MANILA— The marathon Senate hearings on Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp showed that Chinese businessman Michael Yang was involved in the trading firm's supposed anomalous pandemic deals with Philippine government, a senator alleged Wednesday.
Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said Yang's close associate, Lin Weixiong, was found out to be the financial manager of Pharmally.
Yang is President Rodrigo Duterte’s former economic adviser.
"Malinaw na malinaw na talagang itong si Michael Yang, na dating foreign adviser ng Presidente, ay kasama dito sa kawatan," he told TeleRadyo.
(It's clear that Michael Yang, the President's former foreign adviser, is involved in the anomaly.)
Gordon said Lin was appointed in the pharmaceutical firm to ensure Yang gets paid for the money the latter lent to Pharmally.
"Para lahat ng investments niya diyan o mga binibili niya ay makukuha niya ang pera. Natural, malakas sa Palasyo, malakas sa China," he said.
(So, he could recoup all his investments. He's close to the Palace and China.)
Pharmally chairman Huang Tzu Yen had admitted in September that the trading firm borrowed money from Yang for their pandemic supply deals with the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management.
Yang had denied lending money and said he only introduced "friends" to Pharmally "to provide the goods."
In the interview, Gordon also called for the arrest of Jayson Uson and Gerald Cruz for their supposed links to the pharmaceutical firm.
Both men are also connected to Yang, he said.
Gordon had said Uson is the president of Filipinas 168 Shopping Mall.
He is also the president of DCLA Plaza and Yangtze Group Trade, which are supposedly linked to Yang. He is an officer of other companies related to the Chinese businessman.
Meanwhile, Cruz is the one who allegedly helped Yang secure his house in Dasmariñas, Cavite and Forbes Park. He is also supposedly a Filipinas 168 Shopping Mall stockholder.
Gordon said Cruz is also the corporate secretary of DCLA Plaza and Yangtze Group Trade, and the corporate secretary of Pharmally Biological.
"Itong buong storya nila ay pawang kasinungalingan from top to bottom," he said.
"Every question is not answered. It is evaded. Kung anu-ano pinagsasabi at hindi naman mapatanuyan."
(Their story is a complete lie from top to bottom. Every question is not answered. It is evaded. They couldn't prove what they say.)
Yang has yet to respond to Gordon's allegations.
Pharmally bagged at least P11 billion worth of contracts with the DBM despite having a paid-up capital of only P625,000 in 2019, senators said.
Some senators alleged that Pharmally was favored by the government in awarding pandemic supply contracts since last year because of its links with Duterte through Yang. They also accused the firm of offering overpriced items.
Gordon had said that public funds wasted on anomalous transactions could have been used for the benefits of health workers who are battling the COVID-19 pandemic in the frontlines.