Former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang, appearing before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee over the controversial Pharmally contracts awarded by the PS-DMB.

Controversial medical supplier Pharmally admitted to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee under intense questioning by senators on Friday night that it had financial backing from former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang.

Company officials and Yang during the early part of the hearing initially denied having direct dealings with each other in connection with the billions of contracts bagged by Pharmally from the PS-DBM.

Upon questioning however by senators and under threat of being cited for contempt for evasive behavior, Huang Tzu Yen, chairman and president of Pharmally, admitted that Yang had funded their operation after they were awarded a contract by the PS-DBM.

Senators have criticized the PS-DBM for allegedly failing to do due diligence on Pharmally before it awarded the contract, pointing out that the company had no financial capacity on record to transact with the government in the amounts involved in its contract. The company, formed only in 2019, only had a capitalization of over P600,000.

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The committee had been investigating some P41 billion in Department of Health (DOH) funds transferred to the PS-DBM to procure supplies on its behalf.

At the end of Friday night’s hearing, Pharmally executive Lincoln Ong was placed under house arrest and custody of the Senate. He was allowed to skip detention in consideration of him being Covid-19 positive while testifying from his residence. The hearing has been scheduled to resume on Monday.

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