MANILA - (UPDATED) Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday accused Senator Richard Gordon of removing Customs fixer Mark Taguba from the protective custody of the Senate to allegedly shield the family of President Rodrigo Duterte from allegations of corruption.
Gordon stripped Taguba of protection after he linked the President's son, Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law, Maneses Carpio to the "Davao Group," which allegedly released questionable shipments in exchange for grease money.
"Isa po tayo sa magku-question kung bakit tinanggal nitong Gordon itong security ni Taguba simula nang na-mention lang ang kaniyang mga amo na itong sina Paolo Duterte at Mans Carpio. Protektado sa amo niya na si Digong," Trillanes told radio DZMM.
(We will join those who question why Gordon removed Taguba's security after the he mentioned Gordon's bosses, Paolo Duterte and Mans Carpio, who are being protected by his boss, Digong.)
Gordon for his part told Monday's hearing that his move "has nothing to do" with Taguba's accusations against the Duterte family.
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Jose Balajadia, he said, had pointed out that the government was spending for 4 to 6 security guards for Taguba, even though the fixer had the "means to provide himself with security."
Gordon has approved Senator Panfilo Lacson's motion for Taguba to be placed again under Senate custody.
Gordon did not return a text message from ABS-CBN News on Monday seeking comment. He has previously denied that he is an ally of Duterte, saying that he was not a member of the President's party and has even criticized the chief executive.
Last week, Gordon filed an ethics complaint against Trillanes for tagging the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which he chairs, as a "komite de abswelto" (committee of acquittal).
Gordon has also raised doubts on why the Senate should pay at least 4 bodyguards for Taguba when some of his statements were allegedly lies.
The Senate blue ribbon panel granted protection to Taguba in July when he implicated some Customs officials in the alleged smuggling of illegal drugs.
The Senate resumed Monday its investigation into a P6.4-billion shipment of shabu that slipped past port inspections in May.