PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, August 9, reiterated his vow to step down from his seat if his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte is proven guilty of committing corrupt practices.
In his speech at a business forum held in Mandaluyong City, Duterte stressed that he does not condone corruption, adding that he would not hesitate to fire anyone involved in the act.
“Corruption was really one I do not like. Now, even my son is being dragged in the Customs controversy,” Duterte said.
He then stressed, “I told you before and I’m telling you now again, if any of my children is involved in corruption, I will immediately resign. You have my word.”
The president’s statement came days after Customs broker Mark Taguba mentioned his son’s name in 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 (US$126 million) that slipped through the agency’s express lane last May.
During the inquiry, Taguba said he was giving P10,000 as bribe per container 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.
“That’s why I said, any official, who entertains the intervention of any of my sons and daughter that is enough for me. I will fire you, and I will press charges against you and my relative wherever he is and you will have the luxury of seeing me go down,” Duterte added.
For his part, the president’s son denied the allegations, pointing out that Taguba himself admitted that it was all based on hearsays.
“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 statement released Tuesday, August 8.