Drilon suggests reopening drug probe vs Paolo Duterte

Robie de Guzman   •   April 4, 2019   •   6407

(L-R) Presidential son, Paolo Duterte and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon believes the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee should resume its investigation on illegal drugs amid fresh allegations against former Davao City vice mayor and presidential son, Paolo Duterte.

Drilon made the statement after a video linking the younger Duterte to the illegal drug trade circulated online.

“It is best that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee resume its investigation in order that those named in the video, particularly Mr. Duterte and [Agriculture] Undersecretary [Waldo] Carpio can clear their names,” Drilon told reporters at a Kapihan forum in the Senate.

On Tuesday (April 2), a video titled “Ang Totoong Narcolist-Episode 1” which supposedly details Paolo’s links to the narcotics trade made rounds on social media.

In the six-minute video, a narrator showed a “tara” or the list of principals and their monthly kickbacks that were deposited in the alleged drug lords’ bank accounts.

The list also contains their code names, including “POLODELTA-TSG01,” which the narrator claimed referred to Paolo Duterte as represented by his initials.

The video also tagged Waldo Reyes Carpio as the owner of the said bank accounts used as Duterte’s dummy in the drug transaction.

Waldo Reyes Carpio is an undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture and the brother of Atty. Manases Carpio, Paolo’s brother-in-law and husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

A certain “Bikoy” who claimed to be a member of the drug syndicate appeared in the video and made the accusations against Duterte and Carpio.

Duterte on Wednesday lashed out on a certain “J.S.” whom he alleged as the one behind the video circulating online.

“POLO DELTA – PAOLO DUTERTE? WOW ha kung makaimbento ka wagas. Galit ka kay Waldo (Carpio) kasi binabara niya lahat ng smuggling mo ng bigas at asukal diba J.S.,” Duterte wrote on his Facebook account.

He also belied the allegations, calling it baseless and the list invented. He also said the accuser was just trying to copy the claims previously made by opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

READ: Paolo Duterte denies receiving kickbacks from drug syndicates

Drilon said the probe would clear up details and provide an avenue for Duterte and Carpio to disprove the allegations against them.

“Sino ba si J.S.? May ebidensya ba or dokumento ba si JS?” he asked.

“The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will provide him [Duterte] with the opportunity to disprove all of these allegations which to him are invented and unfounded,” Drilon added.

The Senate panel conducted a hearing in 2017 on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC). Customs Broker Mark Taguba had alleged that Paolo and his brother-in-law Lawyer Manases Carpio were behind the Davao group that facilitated smuggling in the BOC.

Duterte had denied involvement in the drug smuggling. He also refused to show the alleged tattoo on his back, which Trillanes claimed will prove his being a member of “triad” or international crime syndicate.

Duterte had filed libel cases against Trillanes for making such claims.

READ: Paolo Duterte slaps libel raps vs Trillanes

In a new statement, Duterte vowed to file more charges against the opposition Senator, whom he believes is among those behind the fresh drug claims against him.

“He may deny it, but the video supposedly showing my involvement in the illegal drug trade in the country has been clearly stamped with the indelible Trillanes signature of being a desperate mercenary, one who has done nothing good but attack the government,” he said.

“I have filed cases against Mr. Trillanes for ruining my name. I will file another string of cases for his continued attempts to destroy my reputation,” he added.

He also dared Trillanes anew to show proof of his allegations against him.

“And no, I will not show the tattoo on my back and make things easier for Mr. Trillanes. Instead, I dare him and everyone behind the stupid and empty video exposé to back their claims against me,” Duterte said.

“If there’s anything admirable about Mr. Antonio Trillanes, it is his relentlessness and talent to turn the absurd into something ridiculous, if not bizarrely entertaining,” he said. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

Blue Ribbon to release initial report on ‘overpriced’ medical supplies from Pharmally

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is set to release the initial report on its investigation into the alleged overpriced medical supplies for COVID-19 procured by the government from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.

Blue Ribbon chairperson Senator Richard Gordon said they will try to release the said preliminary report within this week.

He said the committee had been very careful in preparing the report from the results of the investigations conducted in the series of hearings. He added that individuals who must take accountability for the said anomaly will be included in the report in accordance with the anti-graft law and the procurement law.

“Ang lalabas ngayon, ano ang naging resulta ng imbestigasyon. Well, mabusisi ito. Malinaw na kung anong ginawa. ‘Yun ang ipapalabas natin. Ito ang ginawa ng mga taong ‘to, ito ang mananagot sa anti-graft, ito ang mananagot sa violation ng procurement law, at sino ba talaga ang nagpaikot niyan,” Gordon said.

The senator said they will hold the twelfth hearing on the said issue on Tuesday, following its cancellation last October 12. —/mbmf (with details from UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Doctors group urges Duterte to reverse order barring Cabinet members from attending Senate hearing

Maris Federez   •   October 11, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — A group of doctors appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to reverse his order barring  Cabinet members from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s hearing on the alleged anomalous procurement of COVID-19 supplies.

The group wants the Senate hearing to continue the hearing, questioning why the Department of Health (DOH) transferred the said procurement to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

This, despite the earlier clarification made by the Commission on Audit that there was no overpricing in the procurement of COVID-19 supplies and that the said government transaction went through careful inspection.

“Kung bakit ipinasa ng Department of Health ang pagbili nung mga protective equipment na ito sa Department of Budget (and Management), sa DBM. ‘Yun pa lang hindi ma-explain, kase ang ipinapasa lang po talaga sa DBM ay yung mga administrative. ‘Yung mga may kinalaman sa administrative part which means yung mga office supplies, ang mga protective equipment, definitely this is a health. This should actually belong to the Department of Health,” said the group’s president, Dr. Maricar Limpin.

The group also defended the manner of questioning of some senators on the resource persons, saying that there was no bullying that was taking place during the hearing.

“Sa paningin ko yun ay part ng pagku-cross examine, at different personalities have different way of trying to get information. Whatever form na ginagawa nila in order to extract the truth, kase hindi siya maliit na pera. Forty-two billion. At napunta po iyong deal na iyan, yung kontrata, sa isang maliit na kumpanya,” Dr. Anthony Leachon, former president of PCP, said.

The group appeals to the Senate to finish the hearing on the said issue and forward the result of their investigation to the Department of Justice or the Office of the Ombudsman for appropriate action.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the administration will no longer allow Cabinet members and other officials in the Executive Department to attend any succeeding Senate hearings.

“In fact, they appeared before 12 hearings of the Senate and the House and he only said itigil na iyan, after 12. Kasi wala namang bago pong tinatanong at walang bagong sagot,” Roque said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

Duterte won’t withdraw memo barring gov’t officials from Pharmally hearings

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night (October 6) defended his memorandum order barring government officials from attending the Senate investigation on the government’s management of pandemic funds.

During his regular public address, Duterte slammed senators who were calling for the withdrawal of the memo directing government officials and employees to no longer attend the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings.

“Kayo ang nag-umpisa nito eh. Kayo ang nag-umpisa nitong lahat (You’re the ones who started this. You started all of this), he said referring to the panel.

READ: DOJ chief defends Duterte memo barring Cabinet execs from attending Senate panel probe

The committee is currently conducting investigation on alleged irregularities in the government’s procurement of COVID-19 pandemic supplies last year.

“I have to protect the Executive department from the incessant and steady dose of insults coming from the senators,” Duterte said. “There ain’t no way that I will withdraw it. You can do your worst and I will do mine,” he added.

The Chief Executive said government employees, including Cabinet members, should be focused on addressing the  pandemic instead of participating in Senate hearings. The President also slammed Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan for threatening government employees.

“I’m told that it was Pangilinan who said that ‘the worst is yet to come’ to mga empleyado (the employees). Who are you to threaten or even to intimidate government workers?” Duterte said. AAC

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