MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, September 7, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV accused President Rodrigo Duterte’s son and son-in-law of having over a hundred million pesos in each of their bank accounts.
The President’s eldest son, Paolo Duterte, and his son-in-law, Manases “Mans” Carpio, attended the hearing on the smuggling of P6-billion worth of shabu. Both were alleged to be members of the so-called Davao Group, which has been accused of using their influence to clear shipments at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in exchange for money.
But during the hearing, the two were also questioned about sums in their respective bank accounts.
After both Paolo Duterte and Carpio denied any involvement in Customs corruption and smuggling, Trillanes – who recommended that the two be invited – asked them to confirm ownerships of bank accounts and the amounts allegedly in them.
Trillanes first asked Paolo about whether he owned an account in the Philippine National Bank in Sta. Ana, Davao, with number 30694900020.
The President’s son responded, “I refuse to answer anymore,” adding that the question was “not relevant” to the issue of the hearing.
Trillanes said it was up to the Senate “to say whether it is relevant or not.”
Trillanes then asked whether Paolo owned two other bank accounts, to which he eventually replied, “I am invoking the right to self-incrimination.”
Trillanes then alleged that as of November 2015, Paolo’s bank accounts supposedly had a total of P104,282,161.
After Paolo’s account, Trillanes shifted questioning to Mans Carpio, who is married to President Duterte’s daughter, Sara.
The senator alleged that Carpio had over P121 million in his bank accounts. Carpio denied knowledge of the bank accounts mentioned by Trillanes and denied owning that much money, too. Like his brother-in-law, he also refused to sign a bank waiver.
Paolo Duterte is the current Vice Mayor of Davao City, while Mans Carpio is a lawyer. (READ: Ties that bind: Who are Mans Carpio, Paolo Duterte connected to?)
After the hearing, Trillanes said he is considering filing charges against the vice mayor over his alleged ill-gotten wealth.
“Marami tayong planong gawin. Puwede nating ma-compel na mabuksan ang accounts nila by having cases filed against Paolo for ill-gotten wealth dahil public official siya at hindi ito reported sa SALN,” Trillanes told reporters, referring to the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Networth.
(We have many plans. We can compel the opening of these accounts by having cases filed against Paolo for ill-gotten wealth because he is a public official and this is not reported in his SALN.)
“Once these cases are filed, puwede gawin ng Ombudsman, kuhanin ‘yung authenticated documents from the Anti-Money Laundering Council,” he added.
(Once these cases are filed, the Ombudsman can get the authenticated documents from the Anti-Money Laundering Council.)
Member of triad?
Before mentioning the bank accounts, Trillanes also showed some news clippings of reports about cocaine smuggling through the Davao port from the years 2009-2014.
Trillanes alleged that only someone of influence would be able to smuggle drugs into Davao, when President Duterte was then mayor of Davao City.
“If the mayor was killing drug lords, then who would have the courage to do these things, in Davao no less?” Trillanes said, implying Paolo was involved in smuggling.
Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Richard Gordon warned Trillanes about “editorializing” his statements.
Earlier, Trillanes also said he got information “from a foreign country” that Paolo is a member of a triad, a secret group involved in organized criminal activity that operates in several countries, including China.
Trillanes said Paolo has a tattoo on his back, which is evidence of his membership. Asked whether he would be willing to show his tattoo, Paolo answered in the negative.
After the hearing, Paolo’s lawyer Rainier Madrid accused Trillanes of engaging in propaganda and “manipulation.” He also dismissed Trillanes’ accusations about the tattoo, saying “tattoos are a fad.”
Madrid also said he advised Paolo not to sign a waiver. “We don’t want to dignify something that is unauthenticated.”
“If you answer something that is stupid, that is more stupid,” Madrid said. – Rappler.com