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Risa Hontiveros links ex-Duterte adviser Michael Yang to illegal POGOs

Risa Hontiveros links ex-Duterte adviser Michael Yang to illegal POGOs


Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday linked Michael Yang, a former economic adviser to former President Rodrigo Duterte, to Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs) which are now being investigated in the Senate for alleged illegal activities. 

At the continuation of the Senate inquiry, Hontiveros in her presentation said that Gerald Cruz, an incorporator of Brickhartz Technologies Inc. whose documents were seen in the raided Bamban POGO hub, is also the corporate secretary of Pharmally Biological.

Pharmally Biological was earlier reported as the sister company of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation—the company that was involved in the government's procurement of alleged overpriced COVID-19 supplies.

Hontiveros showed that Cruz was affiliated with Huang Tzu Yen, the president of Pharmally Biological Company and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, who earlier admitted that they borrowed money from former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang to fund their contract for the COVID-19 supplies.

Hontiveros also linked Cruz to Yang's Full Win Incorporation as the firm's corporate secretary.

She further said that Xion Wei Technologies, the POGO licensee of Brickhartz, was owned by Yang.

"Ang Brickhartz at Xion Wei Technologies Inc. parehong email address. So malinaw pa sa sikat ng araw — through Gerald Cruz, between the POGO in Bamban ni Alice Guo and Michael Yang and through the email address — Brickhartz at Xion Wei — yes, Michael Yang may be involved in these criminal operations na iniimbestigahan natin sa POGO," Hontiveros said.

(Brickhartz and Xion Wei Technologies Inc. have the same email address. So it is clear as day that—through Gerald Cruz, between Alice Guo's POGO in Bamban, and Michael Tang and through the email address of Brickhartz and Xion Wei that, yes, Michael Yang may be involved in these criminal operations being investigated in the POGO.)

"Lumalabas talagang organsadong operasyon ito kasabwat ng mga napaka-makapangyarihang tao," Hontiveros said in her closing statement.

(It appears that this is an organized operation involving influential people.)

Sought for comment, Yang's lawyer Atty. Raymond Fortun said, "It was established during the Senate investigation that Pharmally Biological, where Mr. Michael Yang had shares, never had business in the Philippines." 

"Pharmally Biological is a different corporation from Pharmally Pharmaceutical, the company involved in the purchase of COVID supplies during the pandemic," Fortun told GMA Integrated News.

Fortun stressed Yang had not been charged before the Sandiganbayan "on the ground of insufficiency of evidence." —NB, GMA Integrated News