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Call for lifestyle check on Duterte kin a 'cover up', Trillanes says

 “Suspected drug pushers and users are wantonly killed in the streets while the people behind the illegal drug smuggling are merely subjected to a lifestyle check,” Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said on Sen. Richard Gordon's draft committee report recommending lifestyle check on Duterte kin. Philstar.com/File

Call for lifestyle check on Duterte kin a 'cover up', Trillanes says

(Philstar.com) - October 11, 2017 - 5:18am

MANILA, Philippines— Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said a call for a lifestyle check on the presidential son and son-in-law on Sen. Richard Gordon’s draft committee report is a "clear case of cover up."

On Tuesday night, it was disclosed that Gordon, a member of the Senate majority bloc, has a draft report recommending a lifestyle check on Paolo Duterte and Mans Carpio. The two were tagged in the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that slipped through the Bureau of Customs but later cleared by a broker who claimed to have given money to a so-called "Davao Group" to facilitate the release of imports.

“Personalities who, due to their close relationships to persons possessing high authority, are held to higher standards of accountability to the people precisely because of such close relationships,” Gordon said.

A draft report needs approval from members of the committee and will be submitted to the Senate in plenary.

Committee Report 18, the report on hearings that Gordon led last year into extrajudicial killings, is still listed as pending on the Senate's Legislative Information System.  

READ: In draft report, Gordon pushes for lifestyle check on Duterte kins

But Trillanes, on Wednesday, dismissed Gordon’s draft report as a move to “please his political master.”

Trillanes, an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte earlier alleged that the Davao City vice mayor and presidential son-in-law are part of the Davao Group that is believed to have facilitated the shipment. He added that the two also own various local bank accounts which contain hundreds of millions of pesos.

Trillanes said that “suspected drug pushers and users are wantonly killed in the streets while the people behind the illegal drug smuggling are merely subjected to a lifestyle check.”

Director General Ronald dela Rosa, Philippine National Police chief, has already admitted that those who die in drug operations are poor because most drug dealers and pushers are poor.

Dela Rosa stressed that anti-narcotics operations have already been launched against powerful individuals, citing the cases of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and wife Susan Parojinog, and Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

The Parojinogs, Espinosa and Mayor Samsudi Dimaukon of Datu Saudi Ampatuan were killed in separate police operations.

READ: 'More poor dead in drug war because most pushers are poor'

No charges recommended

Trillanes said that if his colleague is “serious” in getting to the bottom of the cases, the Senate inquiry on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment should continue.

“He shouldn’t… clear Paolo Duterte of involvement until Nanie Cabato-Coronacion a.k.a. Tita Nanie is located,” Trillanes added.

Notable in the draft report however was that no charges are recommended to be filed against the president's relatives, saying that no evidence was given to establish their connection to the smuggling of drugs or any other contraband through the Bureau of Customs.

Customs fixer Mark Taguba, during the Senate probe on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment, claimed that a certain “Tita Nanie” introduced him to a “friend” and “handler” of the younger Duterte.

Two separate drug raps have been filed against former Customs officials by the NBI and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

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