Duterte defends son-in-law, distances self from Paolo's ex-wife
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, August 29, defended his son-in-law Manases "Mans" Carpio from claims that he is involved in smuggling.
The President also distanced himself from his son Paolo's ex-wife, Lovelie Sumera, who was supposedly spotted visiting government offices and was referred to as "Lovelie Duterte."
"As for this issue with Mans, I do not apologize for him because he's a lawyer. And every lawyer knows that. That's our job," said Duterte, addressing new government appointees.
He said he found nothing wrong with Carpio being seen in government offices. Earlier that day, in a Senate hearing, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and a Bureau of Customs (BOC) official claimed Carpio visited the office of outgoing Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon several times.
"If he's just going to the [BOC] in connection with the case of [his] client... that was my work before. We have to protect the interest of our client, that's our oath of office as lawyers," said Duterte.
Carpio himself denied Trillanes' claims, calling him a "desperate rumormonger."
However, the President said he promised to resign only if there is proof that his children are involved in corruption. The promise does not cover sons- or daughters-in-law. (READ: Duterte dares critics to prove son behind 'ukay' smuggling)
"Sabi ko, ni-limit ko doon sa mga anak ko kasi wala akong kontrol sa ibang tao (I limited it to my kids because I have no control over other people). Like for example, just like my son-in-law who is a lawyer and it is perfectly all right for him to see anybody," said Duterte.
The President added that he had read in newspaper reports that a certain Lovelie, allegedly his daughter-in-law, was seen visiting government offices.
Reports supposedly stated that she was referred to as Lovelie Duterte.
The President emphasized that there is no Lovelie Duterte. The Lovelie he knows is the former wife of Paolo who is now known as Lovelie Sumera after she married a man with that last name. Her maiden name was Sangkola. (READ: Customs officials name-dropped Paolo Duterte – broker)
"Hindi ko manugang 'yan. Diyan nga ako nagkaroon ng sugat sa puso noon. Imagine, your 18-year-old son eloping with a 24, tapos – nahirapan talaga, hindi nakatapos," he said.
(She is not my daughter-in-law. I experienced a heartache with her. Imagine, your 18-year-old son eloping with a 24, then – we had a hard time, he wasn't able to finish school.)
Lovelie and Paolo, said Duterte, separated 10 years ago. The President hasn't seen her "for the longest time."
Paolo, the vice mayor of Davao City, is now married to January, a councilor. (READ: Paolo Duterte's 'friend' denies involvement in P6.4-B smuggled shabu) – Rappler.com