By Genalyn D. Kabiling
President Duterte is leaving up to independent agencies to probe the alleged involvement of his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and son-in-law, Manases Carpio, in drug trafficking activities.
And should they be found guilty, the President will not interfere, and let them face the consequences, which could even mean imprisonment.
“Who would believe me if I investigate my son and my son-in-law? Ikaw (You), can you investigate your mother or father? I leave it to the independent agencies — there’s the Human Rights, which is making all the noise, and they have the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation),” Duterte said during a press conference upon arrival in Davao City from his visit to Japan.
“If they are guilty, then so be it,” Duterte said, citing his policy not to interfere with the work of government officials.
“Kung makulong sila, eh ‘di ipakulong mo. ‘Yan, ganyan lang ang buhay (If they are sent to jail, send them to jail. That’s life),” he maintained.
The President made the remarks after Senator Leila de Lima asked him to target drug smugglers living in his own house instead of running after “imagined and fictitious drug lords.”
De Lima alluded to the Davao City Vice Mayor and Carpio, who is the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
They were tagged by Senator Antonio Trillnes IV as behind the Davao Group, which alleged had a hand in the release of P6.4-billion worth of shabu shipment that slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC) a few months ago.
The President reiterated that he has already ordered the police to shoot his son if he will ever be caught being involved in the drug trade.
“‘Di ba sinabi ko na sa inyo noong Mayor ako? Anong order ko sa pulis? “Barilin ninyo maski anak ko.” At that statement remains. Barilin mo (What did I said when I was mayor? What was order to the police? Shoot him even if he is my son),” he said.
“‘Pag nag-gamit ng droga o nakahawak ng droga, barilin mo (If he used drugs or is keeping any drugs, shoot him). Extrajudicial killing, if you want and I can understand,” he added.
The President, however, explained anew that Paolo used to work in the ports when he was young. He said when Paolo eloped at 18 with an older and former partner, he had to work for his in-laws whose business dealt with imported goods.
“He had to join the family of the lady and to help the business kaya na — he is a regular feature doon,” he said.
“Hindi makatapos sa pag-aaral so natuto siyang magnegosyo (He wasn’t able to finish school so he learned to do business),” he added.
The President has repeatedly made pronouncements that he was ready to quit his post if any of his children will be found guilty of corruption.
Paolo, who appeared in a Senate hearing on the controversial drug shipment, has denied the allegations hurled against him.
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