Face the Senate and clear the air, prelate urges Paolo Duterte

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Presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte should not wait for the Senate to summon him to explain his alleged involvement in the P6.4-billion illegal drug smuggling controversy, Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said on Thursday, Aug. 24.

“Pagka’t nakakahiya na ang Tatay niya ay may kinakanta, siya naman ay iba ang himig. Magkasalungat. So, siya mismo ay dapat lumantad na, magsalita na. Huwag na hintayin ang tawag ng Senado,” Cruz said in an interview with Radyo Veritas. (It’s a shame that his father and him are singing a different tune. He should finally speak up and clear his name and not wait for the Senate to summon him.)

In separate inquiries on the smuggling of the 605 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) at both chambers of Congress, private Customs broker Mark Taguba has repeatedly tagged Duterte as involved with a certain Davao Group, which was allegedly implicated in corrupt activities at the Bureau of Customs.

Taguba, however, admitted that he had never transacted with Duterte, only with his alleged middlemen.

The vice mayor has kept his silence on the issue but President Rodrigo Duterte has defended him, saying that Paolo was only engaged in selling “ukay-ukay” (used clothing), not smuggling in ports.

Cruz said that it is important for the younger Duterte to exonerate himself from the accusation, especially with the President’s intense and violent campaign against illegal drugs. The bloody crackdown has claimed lives of thousands of suspected drug criminals, mostly poor, and has drawn condemnation from the public and international community. –

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