MANILA — Presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio faced a Senate panel on Thursday to “once and for all” deny their involvement in the PHP6.4 billion worth of shabu shipment from China.
“Once and for all, I now have the time to deny any and all baseless allegations thrown against me,” Duterte said in his opening statement before Senator Antonio Trillanes IV began asking him questions.
Duterte said he and Carpio showed up “in compliance with the invitation of the Senate blue ribbon committee” and as a “gesture of respect to the Senate as a whole.”
He started speaking in Bisaya, but eventually shifted to English, explaining that his presence there is for the Filipino and for his fellow Davaoenos.
“I am very sorry, but I cannot answer allegations based on hearsay,” Duterte said.
He ended his opening statement quoting a colleague in the Davao City Council which he did not name.
“…The law of karma will operate, especially to those with evil intent,” he said, pointing out that a senator, which he did not name, once called his family “a family of murderers.”
Carpio, like Duterte, also denied his knowledge of and involvement in the illegal drug shipment.
He also denied knowing Customs broker and fixer Mark Taguba who initially claimed that he and Paolo Duterte facilitated the illegal shipment, but later retracted this saying it was “hearsay.”
“I do not know Mark Taguba and have not met him,” Carpio said.
He explained that as a lawyer by profession, his practice involved representing clients in courts including the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
“The case I’m working on in the BOC dates back to the administration of President (Benigno) Aquino,” Carpio said.
He, meanwhile, vowed to help the committee in whatever way he can as a resource person.