Drilon: Reopen ‘shabu’ probe amid video tagging Paolo Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate should reopen its investigation on illegal drugs amid the fresh “very serious” allegations against former Davao vice mayor and presidential son Paolo Duterte, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon suggested Thursday.
Drilon made the suggestion after a video linking the former Davao vice mayor to drugs circulated in social media.
“It is best that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee resume its investigation in order that those named in the video, particularly Mr. Duterte and (Agriculture) Undersecretary (Waldo) Carpio can clear their names,” Drilon said in a Kapihan forum at the Senate.
In calling for the reopening of the probe, Drilon noted that the allegations were “very serious,” as documents and evidence were allegedly presented in the video.
“Being a former justice secretary and being a lawyer, I do not want to pass judgment on the guilt or innocence of those involved in the video,” the senator said.
“However, the allegations made in the video are very serious,” he added.
He said the inquiry would provide Duterte and Carpio, who is the brother of Duterte’s brother-in-law Manases “Mans” Carpio, an avenue to clear their names and disprove the allegations against them.
“The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will provide him (Duterte) with the opportunity to disprove all of these allegations which to him are invented and unfounded,” Drilon said.
In September 2017, Duterte attended a Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing on the P6.4 billion “shabu” shipment that went past the Bureau of Customs (BOC), amid allegations that he was involved in the powerful “Davao Group” within the Customs.
The presidential son had denied involvement in the smuggling.
But for Senator Leila de Lima, Duterte only has to do “one easy thing” to disprove his alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
“Show his back. Does he have a tattoo or not? If so, what tattoo? Simple!,” De Lima said in a dispatch from Camp Crame where she is being detained
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV had earlier claimed that the presidential son was a member of the “triad” based on a dragon-like tattoo on his back.
De Lima said Duterte had the chance to prove his innocence during the hearing in 2017, but refused to do so.
“Here’s another chance. If he has nothing to hide, Pulong (Paolo Duterte’s nickname) must go for it,” she said. /muf
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