June 17, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Duterte adviser snubs P3.6-billion drug House probe

CHINESE businessman Michael Yang, the economic adviser of former President Rodrigo Duterte, did not show up in yesterday’s  hearing of the House of Representatives committee on dangerous drugs on the P3.6-billion illegal drug seize in Mexico, Pampanga in September last year.

The absence of Yang, despite an invitation extended by the committee, prompted the panel chaired by Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers to issue another invitation to him through his lawyer who was present in his behalf who assured the committee that Yang will attend the future hearings.

The Barbers committee is seeking the former Duterte adviser because based on documents, he is an incorporator or stockholder or financier of several interlocking corporations linked to Empire 999 Realty, Inc., the owner of the warehouse in Mexico town where a composite team of law enforcers seized the P3.6-billion worth of shabu that entered the country through the Subic Freeport Zone.

The team included personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

The inquiry was prompted by two resolutions filed by Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. and Zambales Rep. Jefferson Khonghun.

The intertwined corporations where Yang has financial interest included Omni and Pharmally, which was involved in the alleged anomalous supply of medical products during the Covd-19 pandemic.

Another Chinese personality involved in the Pharmally scandal, Lincoln Uy Ong, is also a shareholder or incorporator of some of the interrelated corporations.

Barbers said he wanted to know whether the proceeds from the P3.6-billion illegal drug importation found their way to the corporations.

He said based on his panel’s investigation and documents obtained from official sources, three incorporations of Empire 999 and the other business entities “are not Filipino citizens.”

He identified them as Willie Ong, Aedy Tai Yang and Jack Tai Yang.

He said the three were able to obtain Philippine passports using spurious and questionable documents.

He said Ong, and the Yang brothers own 55 percent of Empire 999 and the other corporations.

Barbers asked the Philippine Statistics Authority, Department of Foreign Affairs and Securities and Exchange Commission to cancel the birth registrations of the three, their passports and their corporate documents.

“They violated the constitutional provision on 60-percent-Filipino, 40-percent-foreign ownership of domestic corporations,” he said.

He also asked the Land Registration Authority to invalidate 292 land titles “covering hundreds if not thousands of hectares of land” issued to Ong, the Yang brothers and other incorporators of the interlocking corporations.

“There is some pattern here to hide questionable activities behind a maze of corporate structures,” he said.