By Ben Rosario
GINGOOG CITY, Misamis Oriental – It’s not President Rodrigo Duterte but his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio who is the main target of the video episodes linking members of the chief executive’s family to criminal acts, the city mayor said here Friday.
Duterte-Carpio, who is leading a senatorial campaign caravan here as chairperson of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago, said she was informed that her husband, lawyer Manases Carpio; her brother, former Vice Mayor Paulo Duterte; and half-sister, Kitty, are going to be the next targets in a third video episode uploaded in the online news site Metro Balita by a certain “Bikoy”.
“It’s not the President because he’s already the president. The only way to remove him is through impeachment,” said the city mayor who has been strongly touted as a formidable presidential bet when her father ends his term in 2022.
She pointed out that the persons being linked to various anomalies in the two videos that have been uploaded since Tuesday have links to her.
In the first uploaded video entitled “Ang Totoong Narcolist –Episode 1”, Paolo, her elder brother was accused of being engaged in illegal drug trade and various irregular transactions during his term as Davao City vice mayor.
Paolo has strongly disputed the claims in the video even as he pointed to opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes, a staunch critic of the Duterte family, as the person behind the bid to damage their reputation.
The second video that was released yesterday, identified Elijah Pepito, the Duterte couple’s former law firm partner, as having acted as representative for Duterte’s partner, Honeylet Avancena and their daughter, Veronica “Kitty” Duterte, in stashing millions of pesos in supposed dirty money in overseas banks.
On the other hand, Environment and Natural Resources Asst. Secretary Waldo Carpio, Sara’s brother-in-law, has been tagged as Paolo’s treasure keeper.
“Nakikita ninyo ang mga taong binabanggit nila doon: it’s my brother who is connected to me; my sister who is connected to me; it’s an associate lawyer who is connected to me; and it is my brother-in-law who is connected to me.
In the next episode, it’s my husband who is connected to me,” the HNP chairperson told reporters at the sidelines of Friday’s sortie here.
Asked if she was the target of Bikoy’s exposes, Duterte surmised that she was, explaining that it was already too late to subject her father to muckracking since he is now the president.
“Ngayong nakaupo siyang president, the only way to remove a sitting president is through impeachment… and of course, patayin mo,” stated the presidential daughter who quickly made the sign of the cross. (Now that he is president the only way to remove a sitting president is through impeachment or assassination).
She has watched the videos and is now awaiting for the uploading of the other episodes.
Meanwhile, her brother Paolo has, for numerous times before, been rumored to be involved big time drug smuggling in the country, yet nothing was proven by accusers.
“If there’s anything admirable about Mr. Antonio Trillanes, it is his (being) relentlessness and talent to turn the absurd into something ridiculous, if not bizarrely entertaining,” said the presidential son in a statement.
“He may deny it, but the video supposedly showing my involvement in the illegal drug trade in the country has been clearly stamped with the indelible Trillanes signature of being a desperate mercenary, one who has done nothing good but attack the government,” he said.