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Paolo Duterte, Manases Carpio to attend Sept 7 Senate hearing

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte's eldest son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his son-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio committed to attend the September 7 Senate hearing on corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

In a joint statement sent on Monday, September 4, the two said, "We commit to respect the invitation and attend the hearing."

They received the invitation to attend the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on Thursday. The committee's chairman Senator Richard Gordon announced on Monday he was asking them to join the hearing after rejecting a motion to do so.

The younger Duterte and Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, said they recognized the "coercive powers of the Senate of the Philippines" and its "authority to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation."

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who first proposed inviting Duterte and Carpio to the Senate hearing, welcomed the decision of the two.

"That's good. Paghandaan nila mga itatanong ko (They should get ready for my questioning," Trillanes said in a chance interview.

Asked if the president's son and son-in-law should invoke their right against self-incrimination, as suggested by President Duterte himself, Trillanes said, "It's their right but alam natin 'yung ganyan, may tinatago (we know that what behavior means is they are hiding something)."

Vice Mayor Duterte and Carpio were implicated in smuggling after customs broker and "fixer" Mark Taguba read text messages mentioning their names as part of the so-called Davao Group, which has strong ties inside the BOC. (READ: Here's what else was in Taguba's text messages on Customs)

Duterte and Carpio denied involvement in smuggling and accused Trillanes of lying.

President Duterte vowed he would resign if he is presented evidence proving any of his children was involved in corruption. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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