THE Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has recommended to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a lifestyle check on Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo “Polong” Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio.
The blue ribbon panel made the recommendation in a draft report on the Senate’s investigation of the smuggling into the country of shabu worth P6.4 billion from China in May.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, who pushed the committee to invite Duterte and Carpio, claimed that Paolo and Carpio were behind the so-called Davao Group that was linked to smuggling by Customs fixer Mark Taguba. The two denied the allegations.
Carpio is the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
“Personalities who, due to their close relationships to persons possessing high authority, are held to higher standards of accountability to the people precisely because of such close relationships,” the draft committee report said.
“There are many examples that we are aware where rumors of abuse of close relationships abound, regardless of the administration in power,” the report said in its list of recommendations.
“Perhaps this is an opportunity, in aid of legislation, to shed light into this area. In this administration, a similar pattern has emerged, with certain members of the First Family being linked to this sordid affair.”
The Davao City mayor branded the proposal “unreasonable,” saying the allegations against her husband and brother were based on rumors and lies.
“It is premature to discuss anything based on a DRAFT report. If indeed the recommendation of a lifestyle check on Atty. Mans find its way into the FINAL committee report, my opinion is, it is an unreasonable recommendation mainly because it is based on ‘chismis’ of Mr. Taguba and from the ‘lies’ of Trillanes,” she said.
“Trillanes is a paid troll. He is fishing for information with his lies and accusations,” she added.
“Be that as it may, I’d like to reiterate that I welcome the investigation by the Ombudsman since this will allow us to answer accusations and I also welcome a lifestyle check on my husband so that the issue is put to rest,” Sara Duterte said. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO AND CATHERINE VALENTE