Michael Yang 'not a pres­i­den­tial ap­pointee'

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

CHI­NESE busi­ness­man Michael Yang is not a pres­i­den­tial ap­pointee, Mala­cañang said on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 7, a day af­ter ad­mit­ting that the Chi­nese na­tional was Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte's eco­nomic ad­viser.

"Mr. Michael Yang is not em­ployed at the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent nor does he hold a per­ma­nent po­si­tion in the gov­ern­ment. Sim­i­larly, he does not be­long to the Pres­i­den­tial As­sis­tant or Ad­viser sys­tem," Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo said in a state­ment.

"Pres­i­den­tial ad­vis­ers usu­ally hold Cab­i­net rank po­si­tions with full staff com­ple­ment. Mr. Yang's case is dif­fer­ent. He is a one-peso-a-year con­sul­tant-ad­viser un­der a stan­dard con­tract of ser­vice with a fixed term who sim­ply per­forms ad­vi­sory func­tions," he added.

Panelo made the clar­i­fi­ca­tion af­ter he con­firmed that Yang was "one of the con­sul­tants of the Pres­i­dent."

Ear­lier, Duterte de­nied that he had ap­pointed Yang as his eco­nomic ad­viser sim­ply be­cause the lat­ter is "Chi­nese."

Panelo said Yang was merely "part of a pool of con­sul­tant-ad­vis­ers" of Duterte who "can­not in­flu­ence the shap­ing of the Pres­i­dent's poli­cies for the coun­try."

"The Pres­i­dent, there­fore, did not lie as sug­gested by some of his crit­ics. He is cor­rect in say­ing that he did not ap­point Mr. Yang as the Pres­i­den­tial Ad­viser on Eco­nomic Af­fairs with a Cab­i­net port­fo­lio be­ing a for­eigner," he said.

"In­deed, there is no ap­point­ment to speak of in Mr. Yang's case. To re­it­er­ate, his lim­ited au­thor­ity to ren­der ser­vices for the Pres­i­dent is only cov­ered by a stan­dard con­tract for a fixed pe­riod which was not even signed by the lat­ter," he added.

Sec­tion 24(2) of Repub­lic Act (RA) 9184 al­low gov­ern­ment agen­cies to hire for­eign con­sul­tants who are able to meet el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria and un­dergo pub­lic bid­ding.

Panelo ex­plained that RA 9184 "does not re­quire pub­lic bid­ding, but only ne­go­ti­a­tions, in the hir­ing of highly tech­ni­cal con­sul­tants for work that is highly tech­ni­cal or pro­pri­etary, or pri­mar­ily con­fi­den­tial or pol­icy de­ter­min­ing, where trust and con­fi­dence are the pri­mary con­sid­er­a­tion for the hir­ing."

"Such pub­lic bid­ding is not re­quired... Such is the case of Mr. Yang," the Palace of­fi­cial said.

"As stated ear­lier, Mr. Yang has the tech­ni­cal know-how in run­ning busi­nesses. And be­cause he is Chi­nese, he is fa­mil­iar with a lot of peo­ple in the Chi­nese com­mu­nity and knows their psy­chol­ogy and cul­ture. Aside from these, he also en­joys the trust and con­fi­dence of the Pres­i­dent," he added.

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