MANILA, Sept 6 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said his son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte was old enough to handle facing a Senate inquiry on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that slipped past customs authorities.
Speaking to reporters after attending a bank’s anniversary celebration in Taguig, Duterte said his son Paolo and his son-in-law Attorney Manases Carpio should indeed attend the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on Thursday.
Duterte, however, balked at giving an idea of what the public could expect from Paolo and Carpio.
“I would leave it to the lawyers. Because if I give an expectation, media will begin to speculate. Ganoon ‘yan eh. I have to be very careful,” Duterte said.
He said Paolo should be able to handle his problems all on his own.
“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,” Duterte said, referring to his son, who was linked to alleged corruption in the Bureau of Customs.
“I do not speculate. I do not give him advice. I just said, ‘Kung wala ka talagang kasalanan, ‘bat hindi ka pumunta doon?’” he added.
Duterte on Saturday said Paolo should go to the Senate hearing but invoke his right to stay silent at times.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Senator Richard Gordon may have decided to invite Duterte and Carpio because of public pressure.
However, Customs fixer Mark Taguba had absolved the two of involvement in corruption activities at the BOC.
Taguba during a hearing showed text messages carrying the names of supposedly Paolo and Carpio as protectors of smuggled shipment. (MNS)