MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Senator Richard Gordon has recommended a lifestyle check on presidential son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and son-in-law Manases Carpio, following allegations of involvement in smuggling.
Gordon said in a 52-page draft report obtained by Rappler on Tuesday, October 10, that personalities closely linked to high authority, “are held to higher standards of accountability.”
“Therefore, the Committee decided to request the NBI to include both personalities in the lifestyle checks being conducted,” Gordon said, referring to Carpio and Duterte.
“There are many examples that we are aware when rumors of abuse of close relationships abound, regardless of the administration in power. In this administration, a similar pattern has emerged, with certain members of the First Family being linked to this sordid affair,” he said.
Gordon, however, did not recommend charges against Carpio and Duterte. The administration senator cleared the two from smuggling allegations and said there was no evidence presented against them.
"[N]o evidence was established to connect the two to the smuggling of drugs or other contraband through the Bureau of Customs," said Gordon in his report's executive summary.
The blue ribbon committee has instead recommended the filing of criminal charges against all officers of the Bureau of Customs Command Center, including former BOC commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
Gordon also sought the identification of “Tita Nanie,” Jojo Bacud, “Jack”, and "Noel."
Tita Nanie was the one who introduced Customs broker and fixer Mark Ruben Taguba to the Davao Group, allegedly led by Paolo Duterte. Jack, meanwhile, is the alleged middleman.
Carpio and Duterte attended the Senate hearing once and denied accusations against them, including having millions in secret bank accounts.
Read Gordon's draft or partial report:
Davao City Mayor Sara Carpio criticized the planned lifestyle check on her husband, saying it is "unreasonable."
"If indeed the recommendation of a lifestyle check on Atty Mans find its way into the FINAL committee report. My opinion is, it is an unreasonable recommendation mainly because it is based on 'chismis' of Mr Taguba and from the lies of Trillanes," she said.
She, however, said that she would welcome any probe by the Ombudsman as it will allow them to answer allegations against them.
She also slammed opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for his supposed lies, and accused him of being a "paid troll".
"Trillanes is a paid troll. He is fishing for information with his lies and accusations. If indeed he is correct, bakit siya kukuha ng ebidensiya sa amin? (Why is he getting evidence from us?) Kasi alam niya hindi totoo ang sinasabi niya (Because he knows that what he's saying is not true.) Tapos na ang election, may nanalo na, mag-antay na lang siya ng election sa 2022 ulit (The election is over, someone already won. He should just wait for the election in 2022)," she said. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org