Zarate replies to Duterte rant: My son’s education in Poland funded by legit money | Inquirer News

Zarate replies to Duterte rant: My son’s education in Poland funded by legit money

/ 08:13 PM December 22, 2020

DAVAO CITY—A militant lawmaker accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of having questionable sources of funds for the education of his son in Europe replied to Duterte’s rants, saying the money that was used for his son’s studies came from relatives.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, also from Davao City like Duterte, also said he was willing to face the President after he was challenged by Duterte to a man-to-man meeting.

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Zarate said his son’s study in Poland was being financed by money from legitimate sources, a reaction to Duterte’s rant calling Zarate a “hypocrite and a chauvinist pig” and questioning where the militant legislator was getting money to finance his son’s education.

At his weekly televised message to the nation last Monday (Dec. 21), Duterte devoted several minutes of his talk to Zarate, calling the legislator a communist and accusing him of receiving a share from revolutionary taxes being collected by rebels.

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Zarate said his son left to study at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland in 2017 but had already returned in 2019.

“In September 2017, my son Xandro, an only child, went to Poland and took up philosophy at Pope John Paul II University,” Zarate told the Inquirer through a text message.

“He came home in July 2019 to complete his bachelor’s degree in a school here,” said Zarate.

“His tuition, board and other expenses were mainly sponsored by relatives residing abroad. His mother, a lawyer, and I also supported him within our means of income,” he said.

“The expenses for his studies and upkeep came from honest and legitimate sources,” Zarate said in reply to the President’s accusation.

Last Monday, Duterte said he was calling the attention of Zarate. “You have a son studying in Europe. And you said Xandro, your son, was being financed by his grandmother. You know, you said you thought you could fool the Filipino.”

“Your grandmother we looked and we found she’s already old without a source of income. How can she spend money?” Duterte said, flashing a pile of papers that he said contained intelligence information about Zarate and his family.

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“He has been flying over Europe, Zarate,” the President said.

“It’s your salary, Zarate, that you are spending for your child, and you are just saying it’s from your mom who is already old, you are pulling everybody’s leg. Don’t fool us. Maybe, you are using the money collected by the NPA here?” Duterte added.

The President, however, did not make it clear what Zarate had done to make him angry other than be among his critics and belong to a militant bloc of legislators at the House of Representatives.

Duterte also dared Zarate to face him, even challenging him to bring along former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a vocal Duterte critic and former Navy officer, to serve as bodyguard.

“Zarate you are a hypocrite, you are sick,” said Duterte.

“You are on top of it all. You are a chauvinist pig. You want to talk? Let’s do it just the two of us. I want to talk to you, call Bong Go. Do you want me to go to your house? Here in Manila, where do you live? Set aside NPA, NPA and communists. Let’s talk man to man,” the President said.

“If you want a bodyguard, call Trillanes. I’ll be on my own, you two meet me. Tell the media where we will talk. I will order my security people to go away,” the President said.

Earlier, lawyers’ groups in the country and abroad had raised concern over the continued Red-tagging of law professionals which had put in danger the lives of lawyers and activists in the country.

Aside from repeatedly calling Zarate as “communist,” Duterte also accused left-wing groups of being legal fronts of communist rebels. “I know all that,” said Duterte, who once had close contact with NPA in Mindanao as mayor of Davao City for the release of rebel captives which earned for Duterte nationwide fame.

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TAGS: Challenge, Davao City, Education, legislator, militant, rant, Rodrigo Duterte, Zarate
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