Paolo Duterte’s name crops up at House BOC inquiry
The name of the President’s son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, was brought up in the House of Representatives’ inquiry into the P6.4 billion shabu smuggled through the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Customs broker Mark Taguba dropped Vice Mayor Duterte’s name during Monday’s hearing at the House because rumors in the BOC swirled that the President’s son was involved in the transactions of a certain “Davao group” at the Customs bureau in Davao City.
Taguba added that Vice Mayor Duterte’s name is being name-dropped by individuals he earlier implicated in the corrupt activities of the customs bureau — a certain “Tita Nani,” “Jack,” and “Small.”
But the broker denied during the hearing having evidence and that he has never talked to Vice Mayor Duterte.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the sidelines of a ways and means committee hearing, panel chairman Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua said there was nothing conclusive about Taguba’s testimony Monday night.
Cua said Taguba only mentioned “vice mayor” and was not even sure if it was the President’s son.
“Kaya dapat matanong uli si Mark Taguba para malaman natin kung ano itong mga detalyeng ito. Kasi siya na rin nagsabi na ang dali-daling mag-namedrop, so hindi rin siya sigurado. So, it was really not very conclusive,” Cua said.
(Mark Taguba should be questioned again so that we can find out the details. He said so himself that it’s easy to name drop, so he’s also not sure.)
“Well, I believe, he did not say a name, he said the position. He said vice mayor,” he added.
Cua said the House may subpoena Vice Mayor Duterte only if Taguba would be able to back up his allegation.
“It will depend on the statement of Mark Taguba next time if he believes we should or not,” Cua said.
Cua noted that Taguba was also inconsistent in his testimony, which could cost him his immunity from suit.
“We need to review his statements, may konting inconsistency, medyo nagbabago ang isip (there are some inconsistencies, like he’s changing his mind). Although I don’t want to cast judgment kasi hindi naman ako expert (since I’m not an expert). But [if] we discover he’s being inconsistent, that’s a strong ground to revoke immunity,” Cua said.
Taguba earlier named customs officials who allegedly received “tara” or bribe money to speed up the shipments that the agency receives. JE
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