Vows to resign if accusations true
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, August 11, challenged those who accuse his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, of committing corrupt practices to present him with evidence.
The president vowed that he’ll step down if anyone can show him an affidavit proving his son is involved in smuggling transactions.
“If my son was really into it, all you have to do is to produce the paper because there are two ways of evidence, oral and documentary,” Duterte said in a speech during the Southern Philippines Medical Center anniversary in Davao City.
“Just give me an affidavit and I will step down as President of this Republic, and that is my commitment to you now. That is my word,” he added.
The president also reiterated his promise to never tolerate corruption in his administration.
“I made a solemn promise, a vow to the nation and to the Filipino people, that there will never be a time that I will condone graft,” Duterte said.
Earlier, Customs broker Mark Taguba mentioned Paolo Duterte’s name during a House of Representatives inquiry on Monday, August 7 into the alleged bribery activities within the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Congress is currently investigating the alleged involvement of BOC officials in the 600-kilogram shipment of shabu worth P6.4 billion (U.S.$126 million) that slipped through the agency’s express lane last May.
During the inquiry, Taguba said he was given P10,000 per container as a bribe to certain a “Tita Nanie,” who told him that the money would go to a “Davao group” backed by the city’s vice mayor.
The broker, however, admitted that he could not prove the allegation as his remarks against the vice mayor were merely based on hearsay.
In response, the president’s son denied the allegations, pointing out that Taguba himself admitted that they were all based on rumors.
“Taguba admitted that his testimony against me was based entirely on rumors. Why would we entertain or believe a hearsay? One does not dignify lies with a response,” the Davao City vice mayor said.
In a business forum on Wednesday, August 9, Duterte first said he is willing to resign if the allegations against his son were proven.
“Corruption was really one I do not like. Now, even my son is being dragged in the Customs controversy,” the president said. “I told you before and I’m telling you now again, if any of my children [are] involved in corruption, I will immediately resign. You have my word.”