Vice Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Mans Carpio on Thursday attended the Senate hearing on the P6.4 billion shabu shipment that went past the Bureau of Customs (BOC), saying that they both have no knowledge in the said smuggling.
After being accused by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of being a member of a certain TRIAD syndicate, mentioning a dragon tattoo on the vice mayor’s back as a proof, Paolo Duterte denied all the accusations thrown to him.
“In compliance with invitation of this honorable committee, and a gesture of respect to the senate as a whole, I am formally appearing in today’s proceedings. Once and for all, I now have the time to deny any and all baseless accusations thrown against me,” Duterte said in his opening statement.
Duterte even recited a quote, ending his opening statement, “Every dog has his day. The law of ‘karma’ will operate especially to those with evil intent.”
On the other hand, Carpio also denied the accusations against him , saying that him and his brother-in-law were being publicly crucified due to rumors and gossips.
” I do not know Mark Ruben Taguba, and have not met him. I am a lawyer by profession and my practice involves representing my clients in courts and other government institutions, including the BOC. In fact, the case I’m working on in the BOC dates back to the administration of President Aquino,” Carpio stated.
“I am here, before this committee to formally declare that I have no knowledge or involvement in the illegal drugs shipment which is the subject matter of this inquiry,” he added.
Meanwhile, when asked by Senator Manny Pacquiao if the alleged “Davao Group” is real, Customs fixer Mark Ruben Taguba II answered, “Tingin ko po, sabi sabi lang nila. Hindi po ako naniniwala.”
Pacquiao again questioned Taguba, “Bakit mo binabanggit ‘yung pangalan ni Paolo Duterte?”
“Your honor, sabi po kasi nila eh. ‘Yun ang pagkakasabi nila sa akin,” Taguba answered. “Wala po akong binabawi (on his previous statements). Ever since naman po, sinabi ko na hearsay lang siya. Wala naman ako sinabing… natanong nga po ako noon kung na-meet ko ba sila, sinabi ko naman na hindi ko po sila na-meet.”
Moreover, Pacquiao also asked Duterte if he have knowledge about the alleged “Davao Group” and tara system, Paolo answered, “Wala po akong alam diyan, your honor.”
Carpio also stated that he didn’t know the existence of the said “Davao Group” and tara system. | Tretch Melarpes – PTV