Malacañang accuses husband of Paolo Duterte’s ex-wife of fixing cases

Pia Ranada

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Malacañang accuses husband of Paolo Duterte’s ex-wife of fixing cases
The Palace warns judges and justices about RJ Sumera, husband of Lovelie Sangkola Sumera, the controversial ex-wife of Paolo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang accused the husband of Lovelie Sangkola Sumera, former wife of presidential son Paolo Duterte, of using the Duterte name to fix judicial cases.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque did not give the name of the individual, but said there is only one partner of a presidential child’s ex-wife. RJ Sumera, said to be a businessman, married Lovelie after her marriage with Paolo was annulled by a sharia court in 2005.

“We are also warning the public, including judges and justices. The husband of the ex-wife of a child of the President’s is using the name of the President’s grandchild to fix cases,” said Roque on Monday, May 21.

Roque could not say which cases Sumera has sought to influence or whether Malacañang would be initiating any case against him.

The President’s spokesman only warned members of the judiciary against dealing with Sumera.

“He has no authority to use the name of the President or the name of the President’s grandchild,” said Roque.

He also did not specify which of Duterte’s grandchildren were being used by Sumera. Lovelie has 3 kids with Paolo – Isabelle, Omar, and Rigo.

Lovelie’s namedropping

Even Paolo’s ex-wife Lovelie has been accused of using the Duterte family name for her own ends. (READ: The Dutertes: A family in the national spotlight)

Paolo himself had complained about this publicly. Back in June 2017, Paolo said Lovelie was “misrepresenting” herself as a Duterte, leading to confusion when she was listed as among those who were inside the Resorts World Manila casino during the attack of a lone gunman.

Lovelie’s supposed penchant for identifying herself as Paolo’s wife led people to think his current wife, Davao City Councilor January Duterte, was inside the casino during the attack.

Roque could not comment on whether or not the President also bears a grudge against Lovelie for her husband’s supposed actions.

Duterte himself, however, has hinted at suspicious dealings involving Lovelie. He had said in a speech back in August 2017 that a woman was approaching government offices and calling herself Lovelie Duterte.

The President stressed there is no such person and warned government officials against making any deals with his relatives.

Despite this, Duterte has welcomed Lovelie and her children to Malacañang events. Infamously, Isabelle had her pre-debut photo shoot inside the Palace. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.