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Trillanes vows he has the goods on Paolo, Manases

Marvin Sy - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV vowed to present evidence linking Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio to the P6.4-billion shipment of shabu from China and smuggling in general in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) when they face the Senate Blue Ribbon committee in a public hearing tomorrow.

Trillanes yesterday said he has been preparing for the appearance of the son of President Duterte and Carpio, the husband of the President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

“We are planning a strategy on how to bring out the truth from them,” Trillanes said. “If they appear, I will bring out the evidence I have to link them to the drug shipment.”

Trillanes said the decision of Sen. Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee looking into the smuggling of shabu into the country from China, to invite the younger Duterte and Carpio was due to the outrage of the public over his initial refusal to do so.

“What is important here is that we find out the truth about whether or not they are involved in this. But so far, their fingerprints are all over the shabu shipment and smuggling at Customs,” he said.

Trillanes said he will treat the two personalities just like any other resource person that appears before the Senate hearings.

The younger Duterte and his brother-in-law have accepted an invitation to attend the Senate inquiry.

The two were earlier linked by broker Mark Taguba to the so-called Davao group, which is said to be involved in smuggling at Customs. Taguba later  admitted the accusations against them were hearsay.

Rody hands off

President Duterte, for his part, said he will keep his hands off the Senate inquiry on his son and son-in-law. He said Paolo is old enough to defend himself. 

Duterte said he cannot make pronouncements about the Senate probe because it would only create speculations. 

“No expectation. I will give it to the lawyers because if I give an expectation, media will begin to speculate. That’s the way it is. You have to be very careful. He has his own lawyer. He is about 38, 37 years old. He is old enough to know and he can take care of his problem,” Duterte told reporters in Taguig City yesterday. 

Duterte said he won’t give any advice to Paolo and Carpio but encouraged them to face the Senate inquiry. 

“I do not speculate. I do not give him advice. I just said ‘if you did not commit any wrongdoing, why not go there?” he said.

Last Saturday, Duterte told his son to keep mum if questioned by Trillanes.

“My advice to Pulong? Go there, then once he (Trillanes) questions you, tell him ‘I will not answer you, I’m invoking my right of silence,’” the President said, referring to his son by his nickname. – With Alexis Romero

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