By Hannah Torregoza
Just show your tattoo.
Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Friday echoed calls daring former Davao City vice mayor Paolo “Polong” Duterte to disprove his reported involvement in the illegal drug trade by showing the tattoo on his back.
“There’s just one easy thing to do on the part of Paolo Duterte to put closure to this lingering issue about his alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade. Show his back,” de Lima said in her latest dispatch from the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center where she is currently detained.
“Does he have a tattoo or not? If so, what tattoo? Simple! Is that too much to ask? Aren’t tattoos meant to be shown or displayed?” she pointed out.
De Lima was referring to a video uploaded on Youtube last April 2 by “Ang Totoong Narco List” entitled “Ang Totoong Narco List- Episode 1” which has been making the rounds online after it tagged Duterte as among the personalities involved in illegal drug operations. The video already has 140,000 views as of this writing. “Episode 2” of the video has also been released on Thursday.
In “Episode 1”, a certain “Bikoy,” who introduced himself in the video as a former member of a large drug syndicate whose job was to record the group’s transactions, alleged that the younger Duterte was among the syndicate leaders who received kickbacks from the illegal drug trade.
Bikoy said the dragon tattoo on the former vice mayor’s back can prove the latter’s ties to a drug trafficking triad, adding that the code located at the upper portion of the dragon was similar to one of his supposed codenames in the Tara: ALPHA TIERRA-0029.
De Lima noted that a syndicate leader with a code name “Polo Delta G01” and “Alpha Tierra-0029” – which Bikoy later on revealed to be Duterte – received P25 million and P20 million in four batches through the bank accounts named under CARPIOREYESWALDO and CARPIOWALDO.
According to Bikoy, the supposed owner of Duterte’s dummy accounts pointed to Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Waldo Carpio, brother of Manases Carpio, who is married to Paolo’s sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
“If he has nothing to hide, Mr. Duterte should not let another opportunity pass him to prove that his conscience is clean by showing his back tattoo,” she said.
De Lima said the presidential son had the opportunity to refute the allegations during the Senate hearing on the P6.4-billion smuggling of 604 kilos of methamphetamine or shabu into the Philippines in 2017.
It was Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV then who disclosed and accused Mr. Duterte of being part of the Triad, a syndicate involved in a number of criminal activities, and challenged him to bare his tattoo during the hearing.
“Mr. Duterte may have already denied his involvement in the illegal drug trade in a recent interview claiming that certain ‘JS’ whom he described as a smuggler of rice and sugar is wrongly accusing him, but the presidential son is yet to let the public see his tattoo,” de Lima pointed out.
“He had a chance to do that during the Senate hearing when challenged by Sen. Trillanes. He blew it. Here’s another chance. If he has nothing to hide, Polong must go for it,” she emphasized.
The presidential son, in a statement released earlier, denied the allegations of “Bikoy” and accused Trillanes of being the mastermind behind the viral video.
Trillanes, however, rejected Duterte’s accusations, saying how he wished he was part of the video expose against the President’s son, but said he was not.
Trillanes, also one of the Chief Executive’s vocal critics, likewise, renewed his challenge to President Rodrigo Duterte to sign a bank secrecy waiver to prove the allegations wrong.