Duterte hands-off on VM, Man’s Senate appearance

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Manases Carpio can defend themselves, with the help of their lawyers, during the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing today.

 The Duterte patriarch said the two can handle themselves on their own.

 President Duterte was a guest at the 55th Metrobank Anniversary Celebration at the Grand Hyatt Manila, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Sept. 5 in the evening.

 Duterte said he has no specific expectation for the appearance of his son and son-in-law at the hearing.

 “No I cannot, because no expectation… I would leave it to the lawyers. Because if I give an expectation, media will begin to speculate – ganoon ‘yan eh. We have to be very careful. I do not—he has his own lawyer. He’s about 38/37 years old. He’s old enough to know, and he can take care of his problem. I do not speculate, I do not give him advice.”

 The vice mayor and Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s husband confirmed earlier this week they had accepted an invitation of the committee on Thursday, Sept. 7.

 In a joint statement, ‘Pulong’ and ‘Mans’ (as they are popularly known) said they were willing to appear before the lawmakers if only to clear their names.

 They were dragged into alleged smuggling activities at the Bureau of Customs by self-confessed broker Mark Taguba in a series of hearings at the Senate. Taguba also dragged the name of Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera, Jr. into the alleged deals at the BOC.

 However, Taguba has since retracted his statement regarding the vice mayor and Carpio.

 Meanwhile, Senator Richard Gordon, who chairs the Senate committee, has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to communicate with the local government of Davao City for the footage of the nearby environs of Casa de Amigos at Ponciano Street in Davao.

 The Public Safety and Security Command Center said that it could not possibly supply the Senate with the footage from way back in January since their library only lasts three months for privacy and storage issues.

 Gordon also asked the NBI to ask for footage from the restobar to help establish if Abellera was indeed in the restaurant to meet with Taguba and a certain Jack.

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