Duterte son, son-in-law show up in Senate for drug probe
Presidential son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Mans Carpio have surfaced in the Senate hearing on the P6.4 billion “shabu” shipment that went past the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Duterte and Carpio were to attend the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s hearing amid allegations that they were involved in the powerful “Davao Group” within the Customs.
The invitation of the members of the presidential family stirred controversy after committee chair Senator Richard Gordon and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV clashed over summoning Duterte and Carpio to the hearing.
The Davao Group, according to fixer Mark Taguba II, 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 where the latter asked him to pay P5 million so he could seek protection from the vice mayor, who is President Duterte’s son.
Duterte, Carpio and Abellera all denied any involvement in the corruption in Customs.
Taguba said since he paid an “enrollment fee” plus weekly remittances to the Davao Group, his container vans were never “alerted” by the BOC.
To prove that these transactions happened, Taguba showed to the Senate panel his exchanges of text messages with a certain Tita Nani of the Davao Group where he mentioned Duterte and Carpio.
Taguba later apologized to Duterte and Carpio for dragging their names into the controversy, saying his claims were only “hearsay.” CBB
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