By GENALYN KABILING
President Rodrigo Duterte has directed his Cabinet to ignore any attempt of his relatives to use influence to gain favors or preferential treatment from government agencies.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President has not authorized any family member to drop his name to facilitate any government transaction.
“The President would like to reiterate his prior instruction to the Cabinet to ignore any pleas to be made by any of his relatives in connection with any government transaction,” Roque said during a press briefing in Malacañang.
“No one in his family is authorized by him to have any financial interest in any government office, agency, or department,” he said. “That applies to his children, his siblings, his cousins, his uncles and aunts,” he added.
Asked if the President discovered any recent anomaly involving an official accommodating his relatives, Roque said he has not yet talked to Duterte about the matter but will inquire further in their next meeting.
“The President is renewing his call to everyone in government that anyone who uses his name, be it relatives or friends, do not have any authority to use his name,” he said.
The President’s son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and son-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio were earlier accused of influence peddling at the Bureau of Customs after being dragged into a smuggling controversy. The two have denied the charges.
Carpio also served as legal counsel of a tobacco maker which recently forged a tax settlement with the government.
Roque said there should be “no problem” with Carpio’s legal service as long as he performs his duties within the bounds of legal ethics.