MANILA — Malacañang on Friday cautioned the public not to be taken in by “baseless claims” against Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio.
The caution was issued a day after Senator Antonio Trillanes IV accused President Rodrigo Duterte’s son of being a member of a triad during the Senate hearing on the PHP6.4-billion illegal shipment of shabu from China.
At a Palace briefing, Presidential Ernesto Abella said that while nearly all senators showed respect for truth and reason during the Senate Blue Ribbon inquiry, “we caution against a particular one, who made baseless claims of purported bank accounts and body markings and then prodded witnesses to disprove his claims instead of presenting validating proofs.”
During Thursday’s hearing, Trillanes had claimed that the younger Duterte was a member of a Chinese triad, citing an alleged back tattoo as proof of membership.
He also showed some bank accounts allegedly owned by the vice mayor and Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Abella said that these same tactics have been employed by Trillanes before.
During the campaign period, the senator accused Duterte of having at least PHP211 million in ill-gotten wealth, even showing some documents as proof.
The documents were later debunked by the bank and tagged as fake.
“His tactics had been foisted on the public and media time and again. And the only way to stop this is to demand proof from anyone making baseless claims,” Abella said.
Meanwhile, Abella thanked the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee “for giving both Vice Mayor Duterte and Carpio the chance to debunk baseless allegations.” PNA-northboundasia.com