MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday dismissed as a “cover-up” the draft findings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the corruption at the Bureau of Customs and the smuggling of P6.4-billion shabu via the BOC’s express lane.
Trillanes said he was not satisfied with the draft report by the Senate panel chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon because it was allegedly selective on the matter of whom to pin down.
He also claimed that the committee had nipped its inquiry in the bud even when there were still bigger and more influential personalities who needed to be investigated to find out the key players and masterminds in the corrupt and smuggling activities at the BOC, which the senator earlier linked to the Davao Group and President Rodrigo Duterte’s son and son-in-law Davao Vice Mayor Paulo “Pulong” Duterte and Manases Carpio.
“Sino ba ang nasa likod ng pagpasok nito? Hindi pa nga napi-pinpoint eh. Hindi si (Mark) Taguba. Sino ba ang nag-ninong? Maliwanag ang Davao Group. Sino ba ‘yan? Di ba si Paolo Duterte? ‘Yon ang problema,” said Trillanes.
[Who are those behind the entry of this? They have not yet pinpointed who it is. It’s not Taguba. Who played godfather to it? It’s clear that it is the Davao Group. Who is that? Isn’t it that it’s Paolo Duterte? That’s the problem.]
“Definitely, pinili ‘yong expendable. Pero ‘yong mabibigat na tao ay na-spare nila dito sa mabibigat na kaso [Definitely, they only chose those who were expendable. But they spared bigger people from these serious cases],” said Trillanes, citing the committee report’s recommendation to subject Vice Mayor Duterte and Carpio only to a lifestyle check.
The lawmaker said it was unfair for Gordon’s panel to only subject the President’s son and son-in-law to lifestyle checks while other Filipinos, mostly poor and suspected of being drug users or pushers, are getting killed in the course of the administration’s anti-narcotics campaign.
“Kung magbubulag-bulagan ka, hindi mo makikita ‘yan. ‘Yong mga kababayan natin na mahihirap na suspected drug users and pushers pinapatay lang basta. ‘Yong nasa likod ng pag-i-import ng ilegal na droga eh lifestyle check lamang,” the senator said.
[If you would pretend to be blind, you wouldn’t be able to see it. Our fellow Filipinos who are poor are just being killed. But those who are behind the importation of illegal drugs are only subjected to lifestyle check.]
“This is a clear case of cover-up,” he added.
While 11 senators had already reportedly signed the draft report, Trillanes said he would block its approval once the report reaches the plenary.
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