Video on Pulong prompts calls to reopen Senate drug probe
The Senate blue ribbon committee should reopen its investigation into drug smuggling after the release of a video alleging that President Duterte’s son Paolo and son-in-law received millions of pesos from a syndicate, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Thursday.
The six-minute video, titled “Ang Totoong Narcolist (The True Narcolist) Episode 1,” was posted on Tuesday on the Facebook account of Metro Balita, which describes itself as a “media/news company.”
Its male narrator showed a list of names of alleged drug lords and the amounts deposited in their bank accounts.
He alleged that the code name Polo Delta was actually Paolo Duterte and that the bank accounts were owned by Agriculture Undersecretary Waldo Carpio, a brother of lawyer Manases Carpio whose wife is the President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Malacañang has dismissed the allegations as black propaganda.
In a Facebook post, Paolo, a former Davao City vice mayor who is now running unopposed for the seat of the city’s first district in the House of representatives, denied getting kickbacks from drug syndicates and blamed a certain “J.S.” for the video.
On Thursday, he tagged Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV as the one behind it.
Paolo said J.S. was angry with Carpio for blocking his shipments of smuggled rice and sugar.
“You are angry with me because I ignored you on the airplane because you’re arrogant,” he said.
Sen. Leila de Lima suggested a simpler way for Paolo to debunk the allegations: Show his back to determine if he has a dragon tattoo.
“Does he have a tattoo or not? If so, what tattoo? Simple!” De Lima said in a statement. “Is that too much to ask? Aren’t tattoos meant to be shown or displayed?”
Paolo refused to show his back at a Senate hearing in 2017 when Trillanes questioned him about it on the grounds that it supposedly showed that the young Duterte was part of a drug triad.
In the video, the man in a hoodie—who identified himself only as “Bikoy”—said he had been in possession of the documents from the time he started working with the syndicate in 2010. He said he left the group last year.
Like Drilon, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano sought an investigation of the video.
“It would be good to enlighten the public and remove doubt that the President’s own family could be the No. 1 drug lord in the country,” Alejano said.
“There is certainly a need to investigate the claims of this certain Bikoy who appears to have documents on transactions of a drug syndicate,” he said, referring to the video.
Not the first time
Alejano noted that it was not the first time that Paolo and the Duterte family had been accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade.
“The [Paolo’s] name was first linked in the P6.4-billion ‘shabu’ (crystal meth) smuggling that slipped [past] Customs. Now, his name resurfaces as one of the principals of a drug syndicate,” he said.
“This came after [dismissed police official Eduardo] Acierto’s exposé that the President’s economic adviser, Michael Yang, is a drug lord,” he added.
Forum for rebuttal
Drilon said the resumption of the blue ribbon committee inquiry would give Paolo and Carpio a forum to rebut the claims made against them.
“Hence, it is best that the Senate blue ribbon resume its investigation, in order that those named in the video, particularly Mr. Paolo Duterte and Undersecretary Carpio, can clear their names,” Drilon said at the Kapihan sa Senado forum.
“If these allegations are invented as asserted by Mr. Duterte, the Senate blue ribbon investigation will provide him that opportunity to disprove all of these allegations,” the senator said.
If not debunked in the probe, Drilon said the video might keep on circulating.
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