MANILA, Philippines (Updated 2:50 p.m.) — Paolo Duterte, the son of President Rodrigo Duterte who was recently embroiled in a controversy at the Bureau of Customs for allegations that he was involved in the smuggling of illegal drugs in the country, resigned as vice mayor of Davao City Monday.
In making the announcement, Duterte stunned members of the city of council of Davao City which was meeting just after ferocious blaze devoured a mall and killed more than three dozen people over the weekend.
Duterte cited allegations of his involvement in the smuggling of billions of crystal methamphetamine, locally known as shabu, and family problems in his decision to relinquish the city’s second highest office effective December 25.
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“I hereby tender my resignation as vice mayor of Davao City today December 25, 2017,” Duterte, the eldest son of the president, told a surprised city council.
“There are recent unfortunate events in my life that are closely tied to my failed first marriage. These, among others, include the maligning of my reputation in the recent name dropping incident in the Bureau of Customs smuggling case and very public squabble with my daughter,” Duterte said.
A broker who faciliated a P6.4 billion shipment of illegal drugs from China pinned Duterte and his brother-in-law Mans Carpio for their supposed involvement in a group that facilitated smuggling in the Customs Bureau.
Mark Taguba, a customs fixer, told congressional investigations in August that he had given money to Duterte’s group to facilitate his transactions in the government agency, perennially tagged as one of the most corrupt.
Duterte attended a Senate panel probe into the issue. He however refused to show a supposed tattoo on his back that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV alleged was proof of his membership in an international criminal syndicate.
Recently, Duterte had a public spat with his daughter Isabelle after the young Duterte posted critical social media posts about him. The vice mayor took to Facebook to answer his daughter’s post, saying that she did not know how to respect, and she was a “disgrace.”
According to Duterte, his parents always reminded him of the value of delicadeza, or sense of propriety. He said that this was one of those moments when he needed to protect his honor and that of his children.
“I am grateful to all the Dabawenyos for your support to my office, and I look forward to the day that I will be able to serve the country again,” he said, keeping open the possibility that he will seek a local, even national, post in the future.
The vice mayor also expressed sympathies with the families of the victims of the flooding and mudslides caused by Tropical Storm Vinta which left at least 200 people dead and many more missing in Mindanao.
He also alluded to the tragic death of 37 people in a fire in mall in the city in his resignation, describing this year’s Christmas as “difficult” for the people of the city.
“It is a difficult Christmas day for many Dabawenyos including myself, but we are strong and resilient, and we shall move forward,” he said.
Despite the resignation, the Dutertes will still maintain their domination of Davao City politics as the town’s mayor, Sara Duterte-Carpio, is the sister of the resigned vice mayor.
THE PHIL STAR
Updated December 25, 2017 – 2:08pm
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