MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s hiring in the past of a Chinese citizen, Michael Yang, as an economic adviser was “questionable,” according to Sen. Richard Gordon.
He was asked about the issue on Saturday in an interview at AM radio station DWIZ.
In reply, he said: “Yes, that is questionable. There are so many Filipinos. Why would you get that [person] as an adviser?”
Shifting to Filipino, he added: “It means they were planning something dark, and that was what happened.”
“Do you believe that I can be appointed by Xi Jinping, premier [actually president – Ed.] of China, to an economic adviser?” he added.
Yang has been linked to the Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp, a company with only a paid-up capital of just P625,000 and yet allegedly got preferential treatment as it bagged a P8.68-billion contract with the government to supply medical items for pandemic use.
The company is the focus of Senate hearings for its allegedly overpriced medical supplies, among other things.
Yang denied having ties with Pharmally but admitted that the company asked for his assistance.
He was linked to the controversial procurement after a video taken in 2017 came out showed him introducing Pharmally officials to President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City.
Yang confirmed that he met with the company president, Huang Tzu Yen, in 2017.
Huang said it was Yang who lent money to Pharmally to finance its deals.
Yang said, however, that the money did not come from him but from his friends.
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