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DOJ orders BI to monitor Michael Yang’s whereabouts

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday ordered the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to monitor the whereabouts of Chinese businessman Michael Yang, who was implicated in the alleged irregularities in the pandemic-related expenses of the government.

The DOJ issued the immigration lookout bulletin order (ILBO) for Yang following a request from Senator Richard Gordon, chairperson of the Senate Blue RIbbon committee that is investigating allegations of overpricing in the procurement of medical supplies such as face masks and personal protective equipment last year.

Gordon had requested the DOJ and the BI to inform the Senate panel of Yang’s travels.

“It should be noted that, however, that an ILBO is for monitoring purposes only, and it is not, in and of itself, a sufficient prohibition for a subject’s departure from the Philippines,” the DOJ said.

The Senate panel made the request after Yang failed to attend Monday's continuation of the Senate inquiry due to health reasons. His lawyer, Raymond Fortun, said his blood pressure “shot up.”

Yang, a former presidential economic adviser, denied any links with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, the firm at the center of the procurement controversy.

He said he had nothing to do with contracts that Pharmally had entered into but admitted that he introduced the company to other Chinese businessmen who supply medical items.

Pharmally official Linconn Ong earlier said Yang acted as a guarantor and a financier of the company, which bagged more than P8 billion in government contracts even if it had a paid-up capital of only P625,000.

The DOJ earlier placed former Budget Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao, Overall Deputy Ombudsman Warren Rex Liong, and Pharmally officials— Twinkle Dargani, Huang Tzu Yen, Krizle Grace Mago, Justine Garado, Mohit Dargani, and Ong— on the lookout list. —LDF, GMA News