The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte says he’s not defending son, Paolo, but accusation against him “rehash”

August 23, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday he was not defending his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte but he branded as "rehash" corruption allegations being thrown against his son.

In a speech in Batangas province, Duterte reiterated he would resign if anyone from his family members would be involved in corruption.

"No excuses, no apologies," he said.

But in the same speech, he narrated how his son became "enterprising," noting at the age of 18, Paolo had to work hard, up to the extent of being a stevedore at Davao City port because he eloped at that time.

He said his daughter-in-law, Lovelie, is a Moro lady, whose family business was to sell jars and used clothing at the port.

"This is a nationwide broadcast so I might as well tell you. I am not defending my son. Prove it, it is true, and I will resign," he said, referring to the allegation that Paolo was part of a syndicate asking for grease money at the Bureau of Customs.

Paolo's name has been mentioned in separate investigations by the Senate and the House of Representatives on the alleged corruption at the BOC, particularly after the P6.4-billion of shabu managed to pass the Customs' check last May. The illegal drugs were only discovered in a warehouse days later following tip from China.

Duterte challenged those accusing his son to prove their claim.

"Now, all they have to do is to’s a rehash actually of --- during the last elections," he said, calling the allegations against his son as pieces of "trash which were brought during the last elections."

During the elections last year, Paolo also made headlines for his alleged involvement in the smuggling activities in Davao.

Duterte said he and his family were never involved in corruption and this was the reason why "I was the only one in the Philippines who could afford to attack Inquirer and ABS's simple, you cannot get anything from me.

"I said, 'You can go anywhere in the four corners of the world. You can go to AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) and the rural banks, you cannot find such (big amount) of money'," he said.

Duterte's staunch critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes, had accused the President of having P2.2 billion in the bank.

As to his children, Duterte said they have their own lives.

In the case of Paolo, he said he had to earn at a very young age because he eloped.

"So he was lost to us. That's why you can see him at the pier...he's always at the pier, helping his in-laws (because) he did not have a job. And he has to earn his keep and he had to work for the family," he said.

But he said if Paolo's in-laws, who were into selling jars and used clothing were engaged in smuggling, "then give me an accounting and I will resign. There's no problem with me."

"But what I’m really --- am I committed to do is there will be no corruption in this government. I will not allow it." Celerina Monte/DMS