MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte sees nothing wrong that his son Paolo, the current vice mayor of Davao City and the former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon know each other.
In a speech at Malacañang, Duterte said Faeldon was among those who flew to Davao City to urge him to run for president way back 2014. This is where the former Customs chief met his son and the rest of his family.
"Three years ago si Faeldon, pumupunta na ng Davao. Alam nila 'Bato' 'yan. They were urging me to run. Bakit di makilala si Faeldon, he was present every meeting sa kampanya ko," he said.
"Kilala 'yan si Faeldon sa pamilya ko. Kilala 'yan ng asawa ko. Kilala 'yan ng buong Davao yan e pabalik-balik yan doon," he added, as he addressed star ranked police officers.
Faeldon was relieved of his post at the Customs and was replaced by former PDEA director Isidro Lapeña, as the probe on the P6.4 billion shabu shipment from China continues at the Senate.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV recently accused the presidential son of backing the "Davao Group" which is allegedly involved in bribery activities in the Bureau of Customs.
The senator is also linking the President's in-laws Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, and Lovely Sumera, Paolo's former wife, to the Customs mess.
President Duterte already distanced himself from alleged sightings of his in-laws in the offices of the bureau, saying he has no control over them.
"Nilimit ko sa mga anak ko kasi wala akong control sa ibang tao. I can only answer for my sons and daughters," he said in a speech yesterday.
Carpio already answered Trillanes' pronouncements, saying he was in the Customs to represent several clients. Carpio, according to the President, has been lawyering for cigarette giant Mighty Corp.
"Lawyering would never be wrong," said President Duterte. "Alam ko di sila lulusot kay Sonny Dominguez pati kay Faeldon. Sabi ko, 'lawyering diyan lang kayo, never ask me to do anything for you.'"