Palace confirms Chinese businessman Yang, Duterte's one-peso a year consultant
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo's statement was contrary to earlier remarks of President Rodrigo Duterte that Yang could not be his adviser because he is a Chinese.
"Michael Yang is just one of those advisers that the President consults on a particular matter. But he just receives one peso a year," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a press briefing.
Asked if Yang has an appointment paper, he said, "It appears from the documents that I saw, signed by (Justice) Secretary (Menardo) Guevarra and (Executive) Secretary (Salvador) Medialdea," he said, referring on the document used by Rappler on Yang's supposed appointment.
Asked about Duterte's earlier statement that he could not appoint Yang because he is a foreigner, Panelo said, "Oh it's allowed if it's only a consultant."
He said Duterte consults Yang every now and then.
"You know Mr. Yang is a wealthy man; he has risen from poor origins to being a wealthy man. And he has a technical know-how (on) how to run a business, and also because he is Chinese, he knows a lot of people in the Chinese government ? and he knows the psychology of Chinese. On that aspect, the President needs people like him," he explained.
Asked of the technical services or expertise that Yang provides to the Palace that no Filipino consultant could provide, Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, said, "I think that's between the President and the economic adviser. You cannot be revealing those things." Celerina Monte/DMS