By Genalyn Kabiling
Malacañang has recognized the prerogative of Congress to conduct an investigation on the alleged involvement of businessman Michael Yang in the illegal drug trade.
“Congress has the right to investigate,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.
Panelo, however, noted that Yang, former adviser of President Duterte, has been cleared of drug allegations by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Michael Yang has already been cleared by PDEA and by the PNP. ‘Di ba sinasabi nga nila baka ibang Michael Yang yata iyong sinasabi nung (Eduardo) Acierto [They were saying Acierto might be referring to another Michael Yang],” he added.
Senator Leila de Lima has reportedly called for a comprehensive Senate investigation on Yang’s alleged drug involvement. De Lima, currently detained in Camp Crame over drug allegations, said accountability must be sought given Yang’s official capacity as former economic adviser of President Duterte.
Yang served as the President’s adviser until December 2018 when his one-peso per annum contract expired.
Acierto, a dismissed policeman, earlier accused Yang of alleged connection with the narcotics trade but claimed that his report on the matter was ignored by his superiors.
The President however turned the tables on Acierto, accusing him of corruption and criminal involvement. Duterte added that he would ask the police and military why Acierto was still alive.
As he tried to discredit Acierto, Duterte defended Yang from the drug allegations insisting that he was just a businessman who has helped create local jobs.