Why would Trillanes mention my name? Cebu LTO chief wonders
CEBU CITY – The chief of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) was left dumbfounded when he was mentioned by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV during the hearing on the P6.4 billion worth of shabu shipment at the Senate on Thursday.
During the proceedings, Trillanes asked presidential son-in-law Mans Carpio if he knew some personalities, including LTFRB-7 Director Ahmed Cuizon. Carpio answered in the negative.
In a post on Facebook, Cuizon said he knew Carpio being the son-in-law of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Just like everybody else, I know Atty. Mans Carpio officially because he is a respected member of the First Family. But I honestly don’t know why my name was mentioned by Senator Trillanes in the Senate today. Atty. Carpio himself answered that he doesn’t know me, so I think we should leave it at that,” he said.
“I have no further comment on this matter since my work has nothing to do with the Bureau of Customs. Thanks to all who expressed their concern for me on the issue. I shall continue to pray with you for the good of our country and people.”
Carpio and presidential son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte appeared in the Senate hearing on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that went past the BOC.
Customs fixer Mark Taguba II earlier accused Carpio and Paolo as part of the powerful “Davao Group” within the BOC.
But he later retracted the allegation.
“I am making this statement to clear Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Atty. Manases Carpio from any involvement in the shipment of illegal drugs into the country, and any anomalies in the Bureau of Customs,” Taguba said. “I also hereby apologize to Vice Mayor Duterte, Atty. Carpio and to the first family for the proliferation of fake news arising out of my testimony at the Senate [on August 31].”
“I wish to categorically make it clear that: 1. I had never testified, nor will I ever testify that Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and/or Atty. Manse Carpio were involved in the shipment of illegal drugs into the country. Neither have I testified, nor will I ever testify that the aforementioned individuals were involved in the ‘tara system’ that was in place at the Bureau of Customs,” he said.
Taguba said the Davao Group facilitated smuggling at the BOC in exchange of grease money.
In earlier hearings, Taguba said he met Davao City Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr. in Davao last January 2017 where the latter asked him to pay P5 million so he could seek protection from Paolo.
Duterte, Carpio and Abellera have denied any involvement in the corruption in Customs.