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Du30 tells agencies to probe charges vs kin

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he would let independent agencies probe the drug smuggling and corruption allegations against his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and his son-in-law, Manases Carpio.

Duterte’s remarks came after incarcerated Senator Leila de Lima, an adversary of the President, called him to go after “real drug lords” who are apparently “living right inside under his own household.”

“Who would believe if I investigate my son and my son-in-law? You? Can you investigate your mother and father? I leave it to the independent agencies,” Duterte told reporters in Davao City, soon after arriving from a two-day official visit to Japan.

“If they are really guilty, so be it,” Duterte said in a mix of Filipino and English. “Didn’t I give that order when I was mayor? What was my order to the police? Shoot the suspect even if it’s my son. And that statement remains. Shoot him. If he’s a drug user, shoot him. Extrajudicial killing, if you want. And I can understand that.”

De Lima, who’s in jail on drug charges, defended former Interior secretary Manuel Roxas II and Minority Leader Senator Franklin Drilon from allegations that linked them to the illegal drug trade in Iloilo, and said the President should investigate his own son and son-in-law.

The two have been accused of being members of the Davao Group that was behind the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu through the Bureau of Customs.

Earlier, Ricky Serenio, a supposed bagman of the Berya drug group, claimed in a sworn statement that Drilon and Roxas were protectors of slain drug lord Melvin Odicta Sr.

Odicta reportedly once controlled the illegal drug trade in Iloilo, Drilon’s hometown. Both Drilon and Roxas have denied Serenio’s accusations.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II earlier said that a preliminary investigation could be conducted based on Serenio’s affidavit, which may serve as a complaint.




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