Davao mayor blasts 'slow' rice smuggling probe
DAVAO -- Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has given Department of Justice Leila de Lima two challenges: speed up the investigation on rice smuggling and step down from her post.
Duterte is questioning the turtle-paced investigation being done by the DOJ, which is still trying to determine the real identity of alleged smuggling king David Tan.
"Sino ang nagpo-protekta diyan sa mga smugglers? Who are they? Who is she?" Duterte asked.
"The Constitution requires it is subject to the Commission on Appointment through confirmation. For delicadesa, umalis na siya diyan. Until now she has been bypassed for several times," Duterte said, referring to de Lima.
He said he is willing to face the Senate in its investigation on rice smuggling.
He recalled that Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Kim Henares asked for his help to curb rice smuggling in the country.
He earlier said Henares called him up regarding rice smugglers operating at the Davao City port.
"Sasabihin ko na nag-ugat ito na nagpatulong sa akin si Henares," he said.
Meanwhile, Duterte said he remains steadfast in his stand against smugglers amid criticisms being hurled against him by the Commission on Human Rights.
"My statement is directed to the criminals, not the law abiding citizens. Anong ipa-file nila? if you are in the position for a long time and haven't solved rice smuggling na naka-lose ang gobyerno ng P1.3 trillion, that is criminal negligence on their part," Duterte said.
He also said he is ready to face whatever charges the CHR may file against him in connection to his earlier statement about "killing" rice smugglers operating in his city.
According to Duterte, he is willing to face jail time just to "get rid" of rice smugglers. - Reports from Danjo Revilla and Bonna Pamplona, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao