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Palace: No valid reason to deport ex-Duterte adviser Michael Yang

There is no valid reason to deport former presidential adviser Michael Yang as Senator Richard Gordon suggested, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman Secretary Harry Roque Jr. said on Wednesday.

Gordon, the chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, has said Yang should be deported after he allegedly benefited from billions of pesos in COVID-19 response funds.

Gordon said Yang and other officials of Pharmally corporation could be held liable for perjury, false testimony, and falsification of public documents under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code; alleged violations of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act and disobedience to summons over the government's P8 billion medical supply purchases to Pharmally.

"In the case of Michael Yang , nothing criminal has been proven by the Senate. The Senate simply does not have the authority to declare anything as having been criminal," Roque told the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.

"I don’t see how Michael Yang could benefit from his closeness [to the President] when he has not breached any laws so far," he added.

Pharmally Corporation Director Linconn Ong told the Senate Blue Ribbon panel that their company secured loans from Yang.

Yang has denied this but admitted that he asked Chinese suppliers to provide Pharmally's supply requirements.

The Senate Blue Ribbon panel inquiry has found out that the government bought at least P8 billion worth of pandemic supplies from Pharmally even after the government has asked local businesses to repurpose their resources and make medical supply items instead to aid the government's COVID-19 response.  -NB, GMA News