PDEA denies Michael Yang's drug links amid Pharmally controversy

·Contributor
·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Michael Yang with Pres. Duterte, Amb. Zhao and Foreign Secretary Cayetano walking along Wangfujing street during Duterte’s state visit to China in Oct 2016. (Source: King Rodriguez/PCOO)
FILE PHOTO: Michael Yang with Pres. Duterte, Amb. Zhao and Foreign Secretary Cayetano walking along Wangfujing street during Duterte’s state visit to China in Oct 2016. (Source: King Rodriguez/PCOO)

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) belied claims of Chinese businessman Michael Yang’s involvement in the illegal drug trade.

PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva refuted dismissed police officer Eduardo Acierto's accusation that Yang is linked to the illegal Davao City drug trade in a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte that aired on Tuesday (September 14).

“Nothing in all of these case operation plans show that Michael Yang came up as one of the personalities,” Villanueva said.

Yang’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade surfaced anew as he faced scrutiny over the recent Pharmally scandal which involved billions of pesos worth of government contracts for the government’s COVID-19 response.

Yang allegedly lent money to Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. to help the company complete a government contract for personal protective equipment sets (PPEs).

Despite being only a few months established and having only P625,000 in paid-up capital during the height of the epidemic last year, Pharmally was given government contracts worth over P8.6 billion.

Yang was tied to the tumultuous controversy after a video surfaced showing Yang introducing Pharmally executives to President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City.

The President himself also came to the Chinese businessman's defense in late August.

According to Duterte, the Davao-based businessman helped clinch the deals with Chinese companies because he is the one who has contact with them.

“He is a businessman, he knows how to use his money. He has contact with big companies in China and he helped businesses enter the country.” Duterte said, partly in Filipino.

Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.

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