Paolo Duterte, Mans Carpio to attend Senate probe

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4) — Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and the President's son-in-law, Atty. Manases Carpio, will attend the resumption of the Senate probe on illegal drug shipment into the country.

This, after senators Richard Gordon and Sonny Trillanes butted heads on whether or not both Paolo Duterte and Carpio should be summoned to the hearing, considering there was "enough information" of their involvement, according to Sen. Trillanes.

Also read: Gordon to file ethics complaint vs. Trillanes after clash at Senate

In a joint statement Monday, the two persons-of-interest said they respect the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's invitation, and will attend the hearing on P6.4-billion of shabu from China that was smuggled into the country.

"We duly recognize the coercive powers of the Senate of the Philippines as part of the legislative branch of government and their authority to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation," the statement read.

Gordon said Thursday he has extended the invite to Paolo Duterte, through the Service Chief of the Blue-Ribbon Oversight Office Management. He clarified that while both have the duty to face their accusers, he stressed that there was no clear evidence against them.

"It's their duty to the public na haharap sila at kung anong tanungin, but again I'm not going to make that a precedent because magugulo ang investigation, kailangang may ebidensiya ka bago ka magtatawag ng tao," he said.

[Translation: It's their duty to the public to face them and answer inquiry, but again I'm not going to make that a precedent because it will mess up the investigation, you need evidence before you summon people.]

Gordon added that he expects both to answer clearly.

Meanwhile, Trillanes said he is raring to face Duterte and Carpio on Thursday.

"Paghandaan nila ang tanong ko [They should brace themselves for my questions]," he claimed.

The President's son and son-in-law were dragged into the drug shipment hearings after Customs fixer Mark Taguba said they are linked with the reported "Davao Group", which used grease money to ease the movement of shipments in the Bureau of Customs.

This prompted Trillanes to move for the committee to invite Duterte and Carpio to the next hearing tomorrow, Sept. 5.

During the August 31 hearing, Trillanes insisted that  the presidential son and son-in-law should be summoned to the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing.

The next day, Taguba cleared the two members of the presidential family from the drug smuggling mess.

Malacañang on Saturday said the Senate panel should no longer summon Duterte and Carpio saying there may be no reason for the two to attend any hearing, "although they have indicated willingness to testify."

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said his son should attend the hearing, but advised him to invoke his right to remain silent.

"You cannot force a person to testify. All you have to do is to send a letter. We are not answering your questions. I will not submit to an investigation. For what? You are on a fishing expedition," the President said.

Read more: Duterte: I would advise Pulong to remain silent at Senate hearing

CNN Philippines' Cecille Lardizabal contributed to this report.