Duterte says he’ll resign if there’s proof son is involved in drug smuggling

(L-R) Davao City Vice-mayor Paolo Duterte and Cebu businessman Kenneth Dong (Photo: www.interaksyon.com)

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella on August 14 branded as mere black propaganda photos posted on social media showing Davao City Vice-mayor Paolo Duterte with Kenneth Dong, the Cebu-based businessman linked to the PHP 6.4-billion shabu shipment that slipped through the Bureau of Customs (BOC) net last May.

“That’s what’s important, documentary evidence, not hearsay. Otherwise all of these things are just speculation, propaganda that can be used and mis-used,” said Abella.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte stressed that he is ready to resign if any of his children commit corruption after his eldest son was implicated in the controversy hounding the BOC.

Duterte said he does not condone corrupt practices and would not hesitate to fire anyone, including his own son, if involved in irregularities.

“If my son was really into it… all you have to do is produce the paper. Just give me an affidavit and I will step down as the President of this republic. And that is my commitment to you now. That is my word,” said Duterte.

Abella said that those claiming the younger Duterte was linked to smuggling must make their claims and take their evidence in court. He said merely spreading photos of is “just trial by publicity.” He said it should be “vetted for accuracy.”

“What does the picture prove? It’s different when it’s in court,” he said.

Dong is the businessman who BOC broker Mark Taguba alleged is the middleman of Richard Tan or Richard Chen, owner of Hongfei Logistics, the company which transported the shipment with billions of pesos worth of shabu to a Valenzuela City warehouse.

He is also being investigated by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Central Visayas as a “person of interest,” supposedly for involvement in the trafficking of illegal drugs.

Reacting to the photos, Duterte’s son posted on Facebook photos showing Dong in the company of Liberal Party members, including LP President Sen. Francis Pangilinan and Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV.

The image was captioned: “You’re great, you accuse others! But you yourself are guilty of it!”