Duterte’s son-in-law

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV alleged that President Rodrigo Duterte’s son-in-law, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and nephew of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, has links to smuggling at the Bureau of Customs.

Trillanes said Carpio received bribes to facilitate the swift entry and release of shabu shipments. He was behind the so-called Davao Group along with presidential son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte. Trillanes based his claims on the presence of Carpio at Customs, even at the office of resigned Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.

Carpio has denied Trillanes’ accusations, but the questions do not end there. Carpio is a lawyer; why did he continue to have clients with shipments through Customs? Didn’t he realize that people might see him there and infer that he was following up on his clients’ shipments?

It’s basic that close relatives of the President should not do anything to implicate him in any illegal activities.

Carpio only has himself to blame if he is now being singled out by Trillanes.

The President should also tell his relatives that they should know better than give even an appearance of impropriety.

* * *

There are many reasons why President Duterte continues to enjoy high trust ratings from the people, based on polls of the Social Weather Stations.

For one thing, people tend to compare what happened during the term of President Benigno Aquino III with that of Mr. Duterte. Aquino’s term was marked by incompetence and lack of compassion. He also persecuted his political enemies while indulging his friends and supporters.

Another reason Mr. Duterte continues to be popular is the perception that he is a strong leader. He is resolute about stamping out illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.

This is why no protest action is likely to succeed.

Still, President Duterte should give more attention to allaying the concern of foreign businessmen and investors on our peace and order situation.

Businessmen have expressed reservation about our uncertain political climate.

* * *

The problem of many bureaucrats in government, especially regulatory agencies, is that they are just there in their air-conditioned offices without connecting to what the people truly need.

And to think it’s the people paying their salaries!

I refer to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board headed by Martin Delgra III, the chairman, and Ronaldo Corpus and Lourdes Lizada, board members.

These bureaucrats flexed their muscles at transport network vehicle service companies like Uber and Grab at the expense of long-suffering commuters. Commuters want to have an alternative to abusive taxi operators and drivers.

And now Delgra wants commuters to file complaints against erring drivers. Isn’t it the agency’s job to discipline erring drivers?

The LTFRB suspended Uber for a month supposedly for violating rules on securing certificates. But whose fault is it that Uber drivers could not get their certificates? The LTFRB’s!

I agree with this newspaper’s editorial yesterday that the LTFRB needs a brain transplant.

* * *

I repeat my stand against the Philippine Competition Commission against the purchase of Smart and Globe of the internet and telephone service networks of San Miguel for P70 billion. They allege that this would be a duopoly, and would go against public interest.

What public interest when the purchase was precisely aimed at enhancing not only the coverage of Smart and Globe but also Internet speed?

The problem of business in this country is too much government intervention. Worse, we have bureaucrats who seem to forget that it’s the public that is paying for their salaries.

Count all the agencies that are regulating business, and you will know why foreign businessmen hesitate to operate here.

* * *

Congratulations to newly confirmed ambassador to Washington, Babe Romualdez. Go for it, my friend, and may the force be with you.

Topics: Emil Jurado , Duterte’s son-in-law , Senator Antonio Trillanes IV , Bureau of Customs , Davao Group , Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte , Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon
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