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Paolo, Trillanes clash at Senate

By VANNE TERRAZOLA

Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV clashed yesterday at the resumption of the Senate hearing probe on the shipment of P6.4-billion shabu.

son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte walks next to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV during the blue ribbon committee on the P6.4 Billion worth of shabu shipment from China, on the possible malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance of the Bureau of Customs officials and employees  in Pasay, September 06,2017.(Czar Dancel)

son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte walks next to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV during the blue ribbon committee on the P6.4 Billion worth of shabu shipment from China, on the possible malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance of the Bureau of Customs officials and employees in Pasay, September 06,2017.(Czar Dancel)

Before Trillanes started to ask him about allegations that the Davao Group facilitated the release of illegal shipment of goods at the Bureau of Customs, Duterte flatly made his denial.

“Once and for all, I now have the time to deny any and all baseless allegations thrown against me…I am very sorry…but I cannot answer allegations based on hearsay,” Duterte said.

The names of the presidential son and brother-in-law Manases Carpio cropped up during the series of hearings, but Customs fixer and whistleblower Mark Taguba later recanted his testimony and apologized to the two for implicating them in the controversy.

During the hearing, Trillanes accused the Davao executive as a member of an international syndicate in various crimes, including the importation of shabu.

He claimed that the younger Duterte bore a tattoo on his back which shows “his membership in a triad and proves there is competition among members of syndicates.”

Trillanes said he got his information from a source “in a foreign country.”

The syndicate is based in China, Hong Kong, and Macau, according to Trillanes.

He claimed that businessman and alleged drug lord Charlie Tan is also a member of the group. He also tagged alleged middleman Kenneth Dong and Davao City councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera as alleged triad members.

Duterte confirmed having a tattoo, but later invoked his right to privacy when Trillanes insisted that he shows it to the Senate panel.

After the hearing, Rainer Madrid, Duterte’s legal counsel, said he advised his client not to show the tattoo.

“Why do we have to play his game, uto-uto ba kami…Just to clear our names?” Madrid asked.

The lawyer branded Trillanes a “propagandist.” He said the “triad” allegations will not be validated in courts, having based solely “on intelligence reports and hearsays.”

Trillanes alleged Duterte and Carpio were keeping millions pesos in their various bank accounts in Davao City.

He said the Davao City vice mayor had more than P104 million in his personal bank accounts, naming two banks in the city where the official allegedly kept the money.

He said Carpio, on the other hand, had P121 million in at least two bank accounts.

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