When presidential son Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Manases Carpio refused to sign waivers that would allow the opening of their bank accounts said to contain hundreds of millions of pesos in ill-gotten wealth on a dare from Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV during the Senate committee hearing last Sept. 7, we were flabbergasted. We thought they had nothing to hide!
It reminded us of the Marcos family’s position to this day that they have no bank accounts in Switzerland or anywhere abroad, and yet when Presidential Commission on Good Government lawyers tried to pry open their vaults there, the Marcoses hired the best international lawyers money could buy to block that effort. Now they reportedly told President Duterte that they are willing to share “part” of that loot to help him run the government which is short of funds.
When Trillanes further dared Paolo to show the tattoo on his back to prove that he is not a member of the “Triad,” a transnational criminal organization in Asia, Paolo invoked his right to privacy. Another big “huh?” from us! That would have been the best opportunity for him to make a laughingstock of Trillanes, if he had nothing to hide; instead he made himself a suspect!
Both Paolo and Manases may have come out unscathed and grinning from ear to ear from that face-off on mere technicalities, but President Duterte took a direct hit in the face from their evasiveness. The President has been taking the high road in his campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption. It does not help him when members of his own family under investigation invoke rights reserved only for lowlifes and scoundrels!
HENRICO H. LACEDA, firstname.lastname@example.org
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