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Mareng Winnie asks: Why did senators treat Taguba like dirt but gracious to Pulong, Mans?

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Former socioeconomic planning secretary Winnie Monsod has expressed exasperation with how most of the senators behaved when presidential son Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, the vice mayor of Davao City, and his brother-in-law Manases “Mans” Carpio, attended the Senate hearing on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment controversy on September 7.

In her September 9 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Monsod noted the deferential treatment that senators– with the exception of Antonio Trillanes IV and Bam Aquino– gave Duterte’s relatives, and the shabby way they treated Customs broker Mark Taguba.

“If you look at it objectively, Paolo Duterte is a vice mayor– not exactly high on the totem pole of public officials. What he had going for him, which should not have mattered at all, is that he is the son of the President. And he took full advantage of it. I could almost see the senators tiptoeing. Not a nice picture,” she said.

“A senator even said something to the effect that the time of these people (i.e. Duterte and Carpio), who had come from so far away, should not be wasted. Like it was out of the goodness of their hearts that they came,” Monsod added.

In contrast to the kid-glove treatment the senators accorded to Duterte and Carpio, Monsod said Taguba, who gave details on the corruption within the Bureau of Customs, was “treated like dirt.”

Monsod said Duterte showed arrogance “to the point of being in contempt of the Senate, yet was allowed to get away with it.”

The vice mayor and his brother-in-law were invited to appear at the Senate after their names were implicated in the anomalies within the BOC.

Both relatives of the President denied wrongdoing. Paolo, however, refused to show his back tattoo which Trillanes claimed is proof he is a member of a Chinese triad engaged in smuggling.