Broker pins Paolo Duterte, brother-in-law in Customs mess

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2017 12:41 PM | Updated as of Aug 31 2017 04:15 PM

MANILA - (UPDATED) A broker on Thursday named the President's son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and his brother-in-law Mans Carpio of being behind the "Davao Group" that allegedly facilitated smuggling in the Bureau of Customs (BOC). 

Mark Taguba, who brokered the shipment of a P6.4-billion drug haul last May, claimed he had given grease money to Duterte and Carpio's group for earlier shipments. 

Taguba said he gave P5 million in enrollment fee to the Davao Group last January when he met another of its alleged members, Davao City Councilor Nilo "Small" Abellera. 

In the same meeting, Taguba said he agreed to give the group P10,000 for every container that would pass port inspections, which amounts to a weekly average of 1 million. 


But Duterte's "handler," an alias Jack, allegedly called Taguba after the meeting, saying the vice mayor had qualms about the deal. 

The mayor was supposedly worried because Taguba's father, who used to work for the BOC police, had bared corruption allegations against former Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez. 

"Ang sabi po niya is parang nag-aalangan si Polong (Duterte), sabi ni Small kasi si father ko raw is siya ang nagbulgar sa mga swing noon ni Commissioner Alvarez... Sabi ko naman, retiro na ang tatay ko. Ako naman ang nagtatrabaho, magkahiwalay kami," Taguba said. 

"Sabi niya sa akin, parang hihilutin lang daw iyan, ganyan. Magdadagdag na lang daw ulit ako, 2-M," Taguba said.

Taguba said he handed Jack P2 million to assuage the vice mayor's misgivings. Shortly after his return to Manila, Taguba's shipments started passing port inspections without a hitch. 

He added that he would wait for go signal from Duterte or "Mans" for the shipment of his SPLs or "special containers." 

Asked by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to clarify the identity of the Mans he was referring to, Taguba said: "Ito po iyung asawa ni Mayor Sara [Duterte]."
Trillanes also asked Taguba if Carpio and Paolo Duterte were members of the Davao Group, to which the latter replied: "Iyun po ang sabi nila." 

Taguba's claims backed Trillanes' earlier accusation that Duterte and Carpio were involved in corruption at BOC. 

The vice mayor has dismissed the allegations as "hearsay

Carpio for his part called Trillanes a "desperate rumor monger." 

President Rodrigo Duterte meanwhile said he will resign if any of his children were involved in corruption while Malcañang challenged critics to back their accusations with evidence


Trillanes has urged the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to summon Duterte and Carpio to their next hearings. 

Trillanes also told off Senate Majority Leader Vicente "Tito" Sotto for supposedly rejecting the proposed summons for the 2 members of the presidential family. 

"I heard the majority floor leader saying it's hearsay. Hindi ito korte ha, this is just an investigative body, we are just establishing the truth, fini-ferret out natin ang truth. Let them defend themselves. Huwag tayong mag-abogado sa kanila," Trillanes said. 

Sotto however told Trillanes: "Hindi ako nag-aabogado. Ang sinabi ko, if you overheard me, pag-aralan muna ng committee sapagkat hearsay -- it doesn't mean na huwag. Huwag niyo akong pagbibintangan." 

Watch a live streaming of the hearing here