WATCH | Duterte: Prove ‘enterprising’ son, in-laws into smuggling, ‘and I will resign’

August 23, 2017 - 7:59 PM
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File photo of President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Amid allegations linking his eldest child to smuggling activities at the Bureau of Customs, President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday again promised to step down if it would be proven that Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Dutere is guilty of corruption.

[READ RELATED STORY: Customs ‘fixer’ Taguba links Paolo Duterte, Davao councilor to ‘corrupt’ group dealing with BOC]

The elder Duterte also challenged his son’s critics to provide him an “accounting” of the businesses of Paolo’s in-laws and prove that they’re into smuggling and “I will resign.”

“I am not defending my son. Prove it, (if) it is true, and I will resign. Sabi ko nga, anyone involved in my family, nasa corruption, bababa ako pagkapresidente. No excuses, no apologies, pero ‘yong totoo lang,” the chief executive said during his speech in Batangas province.

The President described Paolo as someone “enterprising” because at the age of 18, he eloped with a Moro woman named Lovelie and helped her family in their retail businesses, including selling ukay-ukay (secondhand apparels) and jars.

Itong anak ko naman, meron rin akong anak na enterprising. At the age of 18 years old, nagtanan ‘yan ng isang Moro lady, ang pangalan, Lovelie. This is a nationwide broadcast so I might as will tell you,” the President said.

The chief executive is referring to Lovelie Sangkola, Paolo’s first wife. According to the vice mayor, he is already divorced with Lovelie “by reason of a decision rendered by a competent Sharia Court.”

Paolo, who is now the husband of January Navares Duterte, said Lovelie had married a certain RJ Sumera.

The President said Paolo was always at the pier because he had to help Lovelie’s parents in their business.

“‘Yon yong mga vendors sa Davao, jars, ukay-ukay. Eh napasali s’ya d’yan sa pamilya ng asawa n’ya…Nawala sa buhay namin ‘yang bata na ‘yan.”

Kaya makikita mo ‘yan sa pantalan. Eh kung magtanong lang kayo…palaging nasa pantalan ‘yan, tumutulong sa in-laws n’ya. Eh walang hanapbuhay eh. And he has to earn his keep. And he (has) to work for the family.”

He challenged critics to provide him proof that Paolo’s in-laws were into smuggling so he would have a reason to quit his post.

Pero ‘yong mga jars, ukay-ukay, (kung) pinapalusot ng in-laws n’ya, (if that is) smuggling din, give me an accounting and I will resign. Walang problema ‘yan sa akin,” the President said.

“But what I am really committed to do is there will be no corruption in this government. I will not allow it,” he added.

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