- Presidential spokesman defended Duterte from critics accusing him of silence over BOC issue
- He said president prefers to let due process take its course on the matter
- He also clarified Duterte’s remarks, said president wants solid proof of son’s complicity in BOC
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañanang Palace has fended off critics who are scoring President Rodrigo Duterte over his perceived silence on the drug shipment issue hounding the Bureau of Customs.
According Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, there was no need for Duterte to intervene as due process by way of investigation is already being observed.
“As the President said, he does not intervene in matters like this. He will allow the process to unfold. So it’s not unusual that he’s quiet about that. He’s simply saying that he will not interfere because the process has begun,” Sun Star quoted him as saying.
As for embattled Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon’s fate, Abella said the decision to fire or retain him will always be up to Duterte.
“You know, whatever it is, it will have to be the President’s decision,” he said. “It will be his prerogative to do so. I don’t know about the ‘can’t’ but whatever it is, it would have to be the President’s decision. It would be a mere speculation to say he can or cannot.”
Abella also clarified the president’s earlier remark saying he will resign if an affidavit could be produced showing his son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte’s participation in corrupt practices at Customs.
“An affidavit is not the documentary evidence that the President wants produced. That document is just a written statement of a person which is self-serving evidence in character, thus of less credibility,” he said.
According to the spokesperson, what Duterte wants is solid proof—like incriminating documents personally signed by his son.
“For example, documents like one duly signed by the Vice Mayor or by his representative; a log book showing the name of Paolo as among those receiving payola or part of the tara from the BOC,” he said.