Sotto: Gov’t execs may be subjected to lifestyle checks

Bandera (Mindanao) - - FRONT PAGE -

WHETHER the reason is based on hearsay or not, public officials should be open to a lifestyle check, Senate majority leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said on Wednesday.

Sotto said this when asked to react on Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte seeing the Senate blue ribbon committee’s recommendation for her brother Davao City ViceMayor Paolo Duterte and her husband Atty. Mans Carpio to underg o lifestyle check as

“unreasonable.”

“My opinion is (that) it is an unreasonable recommendation mainly because it is based on ‘chismis’ of Mr. Taguba and from the ‘lies’ of Trillanes,” the mayor said in a statement on Tuesday.

Taguba is fixer Mark Taguba II, who claimed that the so-called “Davao Group” facilitated smuggled deliveries in exchange for hefty grease money, and Trillanes is Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.

But the senator said: “With or without chismis, pwede naman talaga ilifestyle check lahat ng mga public officials. Ewan ko lang kung bagay kay Carpio kasi di naman s’ya public official, pero sa public government officials, OK lang i-lifestyle check with or without prompt from anyone.”

In a draft committee report, a copy of which was obtained by the Inquirer on Tuesday, the committee urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a lifestyle check on the younger Duterte and Carpio.

But the Senate panel, which is chaired by Senator Richard Gordon, did not recommend the filing of charges against the two.

Trillanes, who is also a member of the committee, said he did not sign the report.

Trillanes said Gordon’s report was a “clear case of a cover up to please his political master.”

“Suspected drug pushers and users are wantonly killed in the streets while the people behind the illegal drug smuggling are merely subjected to a lifestyle check,” he said in a statement.

“If Sen. Gordon is really serious in getting to the bottom of this mess, then he shouldn’t terminate the hearing and clear Paolo Duterte of involvement until Nanie CabatoCoronacion a.k.a. Tita Nanie is located,” he said.

“Tita Nanie” was Taguba’s alleged link to the Davao Group, which gives protection to smugglers in exchange for a fee. Tita Nanie mentioned in her text messages with Taguba that the latter has to pay them P5 million for Vice Mayor Paolo’s protection.

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