IF HE has an advice to son Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Atty. Manases “Mans” Carpio, President Rodrigo Duterte would want the two to appear before the Senate if invited to the hearings on alleged corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Duterte, a trial lawyer for many years, however, hinted it would be a futile exercise because the vice mayor and Carpio can always invoke their right to silence.
The President said the two can even go to court if they are cited for contempt for failure to answer questions in the Senate investigation.
“Ako, ang advice ko kay Pulong? “Punta ka doon, then pagdating mo and he questions, sabihin mo lang na, I will not answer you, I’m invoking my right of silence kasi nung eleksyon pa, hindi pa Presidente ang tatay ko, binibira mo na kami (For me my advice to Pulong? Go there, if you’re there and he (Senator Antonio Trillanes) questions, just say, I will not answer you, I’m invoking my right of silence because since election, before my father became president, you were already hitting us),” Duterte said when asked by reporters what advice he would give Paolo and Carpio if they are invited by the Senate.
“Ang isagot sa iyo, ‘ I will refuse to answer your questions because it will intend to incriminate me’, ” Duterte stressed.
Duterte pointed out Trillanes already assumed for the longest time that Paolo and Carpio are behind the so-called Davao group linked to BOC’s smuggling and ‘tara’ system.
Calling Trillanes as idiot with an IQ rate of six, Duterte dared the senator to get his own evidence instead of relying on other people’s statements.
“So if you want evidence, Mr. Trililing, do not get it from the mouth of other people. Go somewhere else. Yung tinitira mo, gusto mo ring ipitin. Hindi ka abogado, hindi ka marunong niyan (Those you are hitting, you also want to pin down. You are not a lawyer, you do not know about it),” he said.
Duterte said Trillanes cannot punish a person or take any inference when a person invokes a constitutional right. Trillanes, Duterte said, is just on fishing expedition.
Trillanes should not get information from someone’s mouth if he wants to know something. “Di maghanap ka kung saan mo hanapin. Kung totoo talaga ‘yan (Then you look for it. If that is really true),” he added.
Eariler, Carpio said Trillanes is a “desperate rumor-monger,” who happens to be a senator. Carpio admitted to have visited BoC because he represents many clients, who have transactions with the agency.
“I represent many clients who have transactions with the Bureau of Customs. It is my job as a lawyer to appear before government agencies for and on behalf of my principals,” Carpio said in a statement posted on his Facebook account.
“Senator Trillanes is imputing malice in saying that my appearance before the BOC is because of smuggling. He is just a desperate rumor-monger who happens to be a senator. #desperado,” Carpio added. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)