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House to invite ex-Duterte adviser over alleged involvement in P3-B drug buy bust
House to invite ex-Duterte adviser over alleged involvement in P3-B drug buy bust
House to invite ex-Duterte adviser over alleged involvement in P3-B drug buy bust
by Christhel Cuazon13 May 2024
Photo courtesy: Presidential Communications Office

Michael Yang, the former economic adviser of former president Rodrigo Duterte, will be invited by a House of Representatives panel to a hearing in connection with the seizure of 3 billion worth of illegal drugs in Mexico, Pampanga in 2023.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, in a statement on Sunday, said Yang will be invited to the hearing of the House Committee of Dangerous Drugs, which he chairs.

This comes after Lincoln Ong, Yang's interpreter, "was found to be an incorporator of a company with links to other companies including Empire 999."

Both Ong and Yang were linked to the messy Pharmally Pharmaceutical scandal, in which the latter was accused of allegedly brokering a PHP 8-billion deal for the procurement of COVID-19 medical supplies between the government and the company.


According to Barbers, his panel found that Empire 999 owns the Pampanga warehouse where PHP 3 billion worth of shabu or crystal meth was found in 2023.

He explained that the company is owned by Chinese nationals who also reportedly owned other shell companies together with personalities previously linked to anomalous activities under the previous administration.

Rep. Dan Fernandez, who chairs the public order panel, had moved to invite Yang to the next hearing after public accounts panel chair Rep. Joseph Paduano presented Yang’s links to Ong.

"This matter has now gone from a simple illegal drug smuggling to a national security concern. We need to establish the link between these companies and Michael Yang, the financier of Pharmally. It is not as simple as it seems," Barbers said in his statement.


It can be recalled that the Ombudsman ordered the filing of graft cases against Lao and former health secretary Francisco Duque III for the alleged irregular transfer of over P41 billion for the procurement of COVID-19 supplies in 2020.

"These personalities and their interests are so intertwined and intricately woven in an elaborate multi-layered company structure that resembles a maze deliberately designed to avoid detection and ultimate liability in case the scheme is discovered," Barbers continued.

The activities of the other companies have not been unearthed yet but the incorporators have gone into hiding already and have started disposing their assets. There is more than meets the eye,” he stressed.

The camp of Yang has yet to release statement on the said matter.

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