On Friday, Customs fixer Mark Taguba expressed his apologies to presidential son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and Attorney Manases Carpio. Taguba said that what he knew regarding the two’s participation in the so-called “Davao Group” – the group allegedly involved with a smuggled shipment of illegal drugs – was only “hearsay.”
Taguba’s lawyer, Raymond Fortun, released a statement about his client’s knowledge on Paolo Duterte’s involvement with the shabu shipment smuggled through the Bureau of Customs.
Apparently, Taguba claims that he never testified to the alleged participation of Paolo Duterte and Manases Carpio in any illegal activities.
“I am making this statement to clear Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Atty. Mans Carpio of any involvement in the shipment of illegal drugs into the country, and any anomalies in the Bureau of Customs.”
“I also hereby apologize to Vice Mayor Duterte, Atty. Carpio and to the first family for the proliferation of fake news arising out of my testimony at the Senate yesterday.”
via eaglenews.phPaolo Duterte and Manases Carpio – who is incidentally President Duterte’s son-in-law – were mentioned numerous times during the Senate blue ribbon committee’s investigation on the shipment of illegal drugs amounting to P6.4 billion. The smuggling occurred in May of this year.
Although Taguba was the broker of the shipment, he denied having any knowledge about the 600 kilograms of shabu it contained.
The Customs fixer stated that he negotiated with the Davao Group. It reportedly consists of “Tita Nanie,” “Jack,” and “Small.” Senator Antonio Trillanes later revealed that Small refers to Davao City councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera, Jr.
Moreover, Taguba said that the Davao Group received bribes for the illegal shipment to get through customs without a hitch.
Senator Trillanes is not convinced with Taguba’s recanting statement. He said”
“The text messages he read aloud which named Paolo Duterte and Mans Carpio were never forced on him and neither were they fabricated. Therefore, Mr. Taguba’s clarification doesn’t change anything.”
On Thursday, Senator Trillanes made Taguba read the texts messages between him and Tita Nanie. Taguba seemingly mentioned Paolo Dutertre and Maneses Carpio’s names in the text conversation.
The message where the two names appeared was sent in January. It said that Jack will “arrange a meeting” with the Davao City Vice Mayor.
Additionally, on a message that “Tita Nanie” sent to Taguba, the name “Mance” came up. “Mance” allegedly refers to Maneses, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Taguba was asked why Carpio’s name was mentioned. He answered, “Nababanggit lang po nila sa’kin. ‘Yun ang sabi nila.”
Taguba stressed that he never personally met with Paolo Duterte and Maneses Carpio.
“As I had repeatedly stated before Congress and the Senate, the alleged involvement of the aforementioned individuals are hearsay in nature. At no time have I met either Vice Mayor Duterte or Atty. Carpio in person, much less discuss any illegal transaction at the Bureau of Customs with them.”
Meanwhile, Senator Trillanes asked the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to request that Paolo Duterte and Maneses Carpio to the hearing. Yet, the committee chairman, Senator Richard Gordon is not persuaded to summon the two. It is because the allegations against them do not have proof.
What can you say about Taguba’s statement? Do you think Paolo and Carpio are really involved in the illegal shipment? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
source: GMA News