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Ba’t Chinese ang kinuha? De Lima seeks probe on Michael Yang’s appointment as Duterte’s adviser


Detained Senator Leila de Lima wants an inquiry into reports that Chinese businessman Michael Yang has publicly “represented” himself as the economic adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte.

She filed 922 directing the appropriate committee to conduct a probe on the use of presidential emblem by a foreign national who presents himself as the economic adviser of Mr. Duterte.

She made the move to protect national security, guarantee that State secrets are secured, uphold national sovereignty and right to self-determination as well as ensure the integrity and independence of Philippine foreign policy.

De Lima said that Yang Hong Ming, also known as Michael Yang, chairman of Full Win Company has reportedly been issuing calling cards which identifies him as the Presidential Economic Adviser.

She said that the seal of the Office of the President of the Philippines “is prominently displayed on one side of Yang’s calling card and the logo of the aforementioned company on the other.”

“Photographs of Yang’s lavish office has surfaced and has circulated all over news articles, showing that it is the office of the Presidential Economic Adviser where the Presidential seal is emblazoned at the entrance thereof,” she said.

In Yang’s website, which is now inaccessible, the title Presidential Economic Adviser has been reported to be conspicuously exhibited, the opposition senator said.

She noted that in the Oct. 2016 state visit in China, Malacanang photographs show Duterte walking with Yang, Chinese Amb. Zhao Jianhua and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in Wangfujing street.

“Public interest requires that inquiry be made as to the authenticity of the identification made by Michael Yang of himself as a presidential economic adviser,” De Lima said.

“The independence of the State from foreign control necessitates that the questionable citizenship of a presidential adviser be authenticated, and the nature and scope of his influence over foreign policy be fully disclosed,” she said.

In conformity with the requirement exacted from public officers to at all times maintain allegiance and loyalty to the Philippines, De Lima said that “there is a need to inquire into the citizenship of presidential appointees, as public office held by a foreign national is inimical to the public interest and welfare.”

“More stringent penalties must be imposed upon any foreign national who willfully, knowingly and conspicuously usurps into public office,” the senator from Bicol said.

More severe penalties must be imposed upon any foreign national who willfully displays and makes use publicly and improperly insignia, uniforms or dress pertaining to an office not held by such person or to a class of persons of which he is not a member, she said.