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MANILA, Philippines - The name of President Duterte’s vice mayor son has been dragged into the House of Representatives’ investigation on drug smuggling and corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua, ways and means committee chairman, told reporters yesterday that importer-witness Mark Taguba mentioned Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte in the course of the 12-hour marathon hearing on the issue that lasted up to near-midnight on Monday.
In a statement, the vice mayor said he does not want to dignify Taguba’s “lies” by explaining his side.
“Taguba admitted that his testimony against me was based entirely on rumors. Why would we entertain or believe hearsay? One does not dignify lies with a response,” Paolo said.
Cua said they would have to ask Taguba to clear things up. “He referred to him as vice mayor (of Davao City). We will clarify this with him, what was his basis, so we will know how to proceed,” he said.
He said if Taguba has solid basis in mentioning Vice Mayor Duterte, the House would consider inviting the presidential son.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, who presided over Monday’s hearing as chairman of the committee on dangerous drugs, said it was upon the questioning of deputy speaker and Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo that Taguba referred to the President’s son.
“The witness told us that some of those he claimed to have bribed in Customs dropped the name of Vice Mayor Duterte, that they were collecting money for the President’s son,” Barbers told The STAR. More here.