Should Paolo Duterte pursue a case against Trillanes, it would have been his second suit against Trillanes. In December last year, Duterte and Manases Carpio filed a civil suit before a Davao court aganst Trillanes, also over the same issue.
AP/Bullit Marquez
Paolo Duterte threatens to sue Trillanes over shabu smuggling allegations
Kristine Joy Patag ( - June 14, 2018 - 3:16pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte wants Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV held criminally liable for linking him to the smuggling of P6.4-billion in shabu, an allegation he has repeatedly denied.

In a statement posted by ONE News, the younger Duterte accused Trillanes of “manufacturing lies and deliberately spreading lies” to “destroy his name and malign his reputation.” President Rodrigo Duterte's son said that the lies were intended to “impact negatively” against the president.

Trillanes, one of Duterte's most vocal critics, accused Paolo and brother-in-law Manases Carpio of involvement in the P6.4-billion worth of shabu that slipped past the Bureau of Customs in 2016.

The shipment was later seized from a Valenzuela City warehouse in a Bureau of Customs-led operation.

In a legislative inquiry at the Senate, Trillanes dared Paolo to prove to the panel that he does not have a Chinese triad tattoo on his back. The triad tattoo would supposedly tie him to the smuggled shabu shipment.

The president's son refused.

The younger Duterte, who has since resigned from position, said that Trillanes “was apparently emboldened by his false reliance on and abuse of his parliamentary immunity.”

But he stressed that the immunity from suit does not extend to statements made before the media. “Clearly as these attacks were done outside the halls of the Senate—and definitely not when these were discharged with pure intention of destroying me,” Paolo added.

Should the former vice mayor pursue a case against Trillanes, it will be his second against the minority senator. In December last year, Duterte and Carpio filed a civil suit before a Davao court aganst Trillanes, also over the same issue.

READ: Paolo Duterte, Manases Carpio sue Trillanes

‘My accusation has basis’

Trillanes, however, remains unfazed by Duterte's threat to sue. The lawmaker dismissed it as “another frivolous lawsuit meant to harass or divert my attention.”

“Clearly, during the Senate inquiry, I was able to present circumstantial and direct evidence of the links of Paolo Duterte to the major players involved in the P6.4-billion shabu shipment to include Mark Taguba's testimony,” Trillanes added.

“This cowardly Duterte administration has bastardized and weaponized the justice system against the political opposition. But be assured that I will not be cowed,” he added.

State prosecutors only charged Taguba who is a broker, traders Manny Li, Kenneth Dong and Richard Chen, and five others in its investigation of the case.

The Office of the Ombudsman also initiated a probe into the case, but its panel of investigators recommended the filing of charges against Office of Civil Defense Deputy Administrator Nicanor Faeldon — Customs chief at the time — and other BOC officials.

The younger Duterte was cleared in both investigations.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has said, however, that her office's investigators have not yet closed their investigation into the younger Duterte.

Morales has inhibited from the case because of family ties to the president's son-in-law.

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