Palace leaves it up to Senate whether to invite Duterte son, Carpio
Malacanang said "there may be no reason" for the Senate to summon the son of President Rodrigo Duterte and his son-in-law to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in its hearing on smuggling in the Bureau of Customs despite their willingness to testify.
In a statement by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella read by Assistant to the Presidential Spokesperson China Jocson on government radio Saturday, the Palace said it will leave up to the Senate to decide whether to invite Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Manases Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
This transpired after customs broker Mark Ruben Taguba III retracted his testimony in the Blue Committee that Paolo Duterte and Carpio were involved in the so-called Davao Group, which facilitates smuggling at Customs.
"With Mark Ruben Taguba II's statement clearing Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Atty. Manases Carpio from involvement in the BOC ( Bureau of Customs) smuggling case, there may be no reason for the senate investigative panel to call the two individuals to attend any hearing in Metro Manila, although they have indicated willingness to testify," said Abella.
"The legislature is a co-equal branch of the government, and the Executive branch respects the Senate's independence. We trust its wisdom on this matter," added Abella.
On Friday evening, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated that he will step down if any of his children are involved in corruption.
"I’m ready to step down, especially on the issue of corruption," he said.
Paolo and Carpio were tagged by Taguba in the Senate hearing that the two were allegedly involved in the corruption at the Bureau of Customs.
Senator Richard Gordon, the Blue Ribbon Committee chairman, and Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, both administration allies, have said solid evidence should be presented first against the two before they would be summoned in the hearing.
"Let us be clear because I don't want you to doubt me. Anyway, there will be a time for that. And if I think that I cannot lead you anymore with honor, I will tell you," he said. DMS