MANILA - (2ND UPDATE) Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte has a tattoo on his back which will prove that he is part of a "triad" or international crime syndicate, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Thursday.
Trillanes asked President Rodrigo Duterte's eldest son to show the tattoo, allegedly of a "colored and dragon-like figure" but the vice mayor refused, invoking his right to privacy.
The senator, a long-time critic of the President, said he got the "intelligence information" from a foreign source whom he did not name.
"Ang sinasabi ay itong si Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte ay member ng triad at ang proof ng kaniyang membership ay yung tattoo sa likod. Yan ang mag-e-explain ng lahat ng ito, at merong competition among syndicates," Trillanes said.
(It's been said that Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte is a member of the triad and the tattoo on his back will prove it. That will explain all of this and there is competition among syndicates.)
The young Duterte told lawmakers investigating the P6.4-billion drug haul from China that he "cannot answer allegations based on hearsay."
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the senator's allegation was "pretty drastic" and "very serious"
"He needs to have some pretty substantial evidence to support that statement," he told reporters at Malacañang.
Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Blue Ribbon committee, cautioned Trillanes against hurling such accusations against resource persons.
"The chair would like request respectfully that we should not make allegations here without any basis because triad is a very serious allegation and we should not abuse any of the witnesses here," he said.
Gordon previously clashed with Trillanes after the former military rebel accused him of running a "komite de abswelto" (committee to absolve) and a "one-man show."
Trillanes said he would provide evidence to back up his claims, adding, "I’m not making any baseless allegations here."
Customs fixer Mark Taguba in a previous hearing alleged the young Duterte and his brother-in-law, Manases Carpio, were behind the "Davao Group" that allegedly facilitated smuggling in the Bureau of Customs. The Duterte's have denied the allegation.
Taguba, who brokered the shipment of a P6.4-billion drug haul last May, claimed he had given millions in grease money to Duterte and Carpio's group for earlier shipments.
A day after his testimony, he released a statement to the media clearing both Duterte and Carpio.