President Rodrigo Roa Duterte offers to resign should detractors present documentary proof of son, Davao vice mayor Paolo’s alleged involvement in illicit activities. This came about after Paolo Duterte’s name came out during a Congressional hearing about the 6.4 billion peso shabu smuggling scandal involving officials of the Bureau of Customs. The controversial witness of Congress, Mark Taguba, mentioned giving bribes to a group tagged as the “Davao group” whose members point to Paolo as their “leader.”
Paolo has since denied the accusation yet several government intelligence reports, one from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) tags Paolo as part of a smuggling ring in Davao. Those reports, which Senator Antonio Trillanes IV once more showed the public, are enough to crucify those named.
For the president though, and his son, these are still “rumors” and probably, not enough for Duterte to tender his resignation. This smacks of unfairness, if you ask murdered mayors Parajinog and Espinos whom police killed because their names were mentioned in Duterte’s dreaded narco list. Mere mention of one’s name in the list is enough to prod armed shadowy figures to cock their guns and kill those named. What more does Duterte need to be convinced that one or some of his most trusted men are committing heinous crimes and betraying the trust and confidence of the public?
Duterte is quick to curse his enemies, but shows leniency when asked about his sons. Paolo is not the only name dragged into illicit activities. His youngest son, Baste is also routinely mentioned as involved in drugs and drug use.
I remember an NBI chief turned Manila mayor who goes around Manila painting the homes of alleged drug pushers and users and shocked the world when his son was caught using illicit drugs—thrice! He never recovered from the loss of the public’s trust.
This is also the same case with a national legislator whose name was once mentioned as one of those celebrities using or had used drugs before. Years before, his name once more cropped up when a cop involved in drugs was arrested. While in detention, the cop mentioned that legislator’s name as the one who protects his illicit activities. That caused him the vice presidential campaign.
Is our president behaving the very same way as these people because he, or at least one or two of his closest kin are involved or is victimized by drugs? Some people think so. And even Senator Panfilo Lacson, who is supposedly the president’s political ally, is surprised of Duterte’s silence.