Dela Rosa said that Duterte ordered him to check on Michael Yang’s possible drug links.
On Wednesday, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said that he was ordered by then-Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to check on Michael Yang’s possible drug links.
Inquirer reported that Senator Dela Rosa served as Davao City police chief from 2012 to 2013 before being appointed by President Duterte as the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
According to the senator, during the time that Michael Yang surfaced in Davao, he’s given instructions by then-Mayor Duterte to keep an eye on Yang and to check if he’s involved in illegal drugs but was quick to add that he “saw nothing”.
“Ang akin lang, just to set the record straight…ako rin mismo, during the time na nag-surface yung Michael Yang na yan doon sa Davao, I was given instructions by then Mayor Duterte na ‘bantayan mo yang tao na yan’—call it Sinophobia or what—basta sabi niya ‘bantayan mo kung involved sa droga yan, trabahuhin mo.’ Meaning conduct ka ng operations kung talagang involved sa droga, but wala akong nakita during my time, wala akong nakita,” Senator Dela Rosa said during the budget hearing of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the Senate.
Michael Yang’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade surfaced anew as he’s facing the scrutiny of the Senate blue ribbon committee, which was looking into the over PHP 8.6-billion worth of government procurement contracts awarded to Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.
Based on a report, Yang was first linked to the controversial procurement after a 2017 video showed him introducing Pharmally officials to President Duterte in Davao City.
Pharmally president Huang Tzu Yen admitted in one of the hearings that his firm borrowed money from Yang in order to help them fulfill some of the government’s medical supplies orders last year.
However, Yang maintained that he had no ties with Pharmally and only introduced the firm to Chinese suppliers.
PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva cleared Yang of any drug links earlier this week. President Duterte himself also defended Yang and cleared him of any involvement with the illegal drug trade.