Malacañang respects Ombudsman probe into Paolo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – The Ombudsman's investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte's son is part of the agency's job "to ensure public accountability," Malacañang said Wednesday, May 9.

The President's son, resigned Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte, is facing an Ombudsman probe into still-undisclosed matters.

"The Office of the Ombudsman has the power to investigate on its own and initiate proper action against public officers," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We see this as part of the Ombudsman's constitutional mandate to ensure public accountability," Roque added.

While Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales refused to disclose details of Paolo's case, a list obtained by reporters shows 5 docketed cases against him – two for graft, two for administrative offenses, and one for alleged ill-gotten wealth. 

Paolo resigned as Davao City vice mayor on December 25, 2017, citing family problems and the issue of the smuggled illegal drugs that implicated him and his brother in law, Manases Carpio.

Manases Carpio is the Ombudsman's nephew. 

Morales said she has inhibited from Paolo Duterte's cases. Morales is set to retire in July.

The Office of the Ombudsman on May 2 said it has cleared Paolo Duterte and Manases Carpio in the case of the P6.4-billion smuggled shabu, or the illegal drugs known as methamphetamine hydrochloride.  

Duterte earlier vowed to resign if any of his children turn out to be involved in corruption. –

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at