DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Presidential son, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio said on Monday, September 4, that they are willing to attend the Senate hearing over allegations of their involvement in drug smuggling.
“We commit to respect the invitation and attend the hearing,” the Dutertes said in a statement sent through the City Information Office.
The Dutertes said they have received the invitation from the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. The two are scheduled to appear on Thursday, September 7.
Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has accused both of being involved in corrupt practices at the Bureau of Customs.
Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, has previously denied the allegations that he is involved in the corruption at the BOC following a testimony of a customs official who told a Senate hearing that Carpio was seen coming out of the office of former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon.
Meanwhile, the younger Duterte, whose name has repeatedly cropped up in allegations of corruption anomalies dared his accusers to file him charges and prove it in court.
But on September 1, Customs broker Mark Taguba II aplogized for dragging Duterte and Carpio in the alleged P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China.
He retracted previous statements that both were involved in the said deal.
Taguba previously named Duterte, Carpio, and Davao City Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr as part of the alleged “Davao Group” who were asking money from brokers.
President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, advised his son to invoke his right of silence when he attends the Senate investigation.
“Go there and when you are asked tell them: ‘I will not answer you. I’m invoking my right of silence. Because even before the elections, before my father became the President, you (Trillanes) have been attacking us,” he said. (davaotoday.com)