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Name sounds familiar? ‘Michael Yang’ tagged as backer of illegal POGOs

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By Nancy Carvajal

A Taiwanese woman rescued from a Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) illegally running business has named a certain “Michael Yang” as an alleged protector of these companies.

Lai Yu Cian, 23, alleged abuses in POGOs with illegal operations when she faced reporters with Senator Risa Hontiveros at the Senate Wednesday (February 12).

“There is a very powerful government [person] called Michael Yang. I heard that once or twice from my boss, saying they have a government person supporting their business,” she said.

Lai claimed she suffered abuse under her Chinese bosses. She said her superiors also kept her passport and often threatened to harm her.

“I already told them that I want to go home…but they forced me to work for them and always say they have a protector behind them who is government people,” she said.

Hontiveros said her office has yet to verify the identity of the “Michael Yang” named by Lai.

A Chinese man named “Michael Yang” formerly served as President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic adviser. He was linked to the illegal drug trade in March by former police official Eduardo Acierto. The allegation, however, was denied by Malacañang.

Yang’s name as alleged protector of POGO has been circulating in the NBI compound, but no one wants to confirm it officially.

“We don’t know personally. Naririnig lang namin na tumatawag yung Michael Yang about a raid. Apart from Yang, two other Chinese sounding names has also been tagged as the reason why some POGO raids were shelved,’’ an NBI agent told Politiko on the condition of anonymity.

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