Tempers flare at Senate probe on ‘shabu’ shipment


TEMPERS flared at the Senate on Thursday as two senators argued over whether relatives of President Rodrigo Duterte should be invited to the ongoing Senate investigation on the illegal entry of the P6.4 billion “shabu” shipment.

The heated exchange between Senators Richard Gordon and Antonio Trillanes 4th reached fever pitch when Gordon threatened to file an ethics complaint against Trillanes who accused him of lawyering for Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and lawyer Mans Carpio, the President’s son and son-in-law respectively.

Gordon, chairman of the blue ribbon committee that is investigating the controversy, also wanted to cite the senator in contempt for accusing members of the committee of everything.

Trillanes insisted, however, that he was only accusing Gordon and not all members of the panel.

At this point, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd, intervened and moved for the suspension of the session.

Before the argument, Trillanes was asking Mark Taguba, a “fixer” at the BOC about the alleged involvement of the young Duterte and Carpio to the so-called “Davao group” operating at Customs.

Trillanes asked Taguba if he was convinced that Duterte and Carpio were behind the Davao group, which he contacted to make sure that his shipment at the BOC would be released without a problem.

“Yes your honor,” Taguba said in response to Trillanes’ question.

Trillanes then moved that the blue ribbon committee invite Vice Mayor Duterte and Carpio in the next hearing for them to be able to answer the claims of Taguba.

“At this point I believe we have enough information that would warrant the invitation of Atty. Mans Carpio and Vice mayor Paolo Duterte,” Trillanes said.

He added that the invitation was needed for the committee to ferret out the truth instead of lawyering for the two.

“Unless the committee is treating them (Duterte and Carpio) sacred cows. I’m asking these people be invited, they also have their chance to clear their names,” Trillanes said.

Gordon did not respond to the motion of Trillanes and just pointed to Sotto who raised the need for the committee to study the matter first before issuing an invitation.



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