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Taguba clears Paolo Duterte, Mans Carpio of BoC corruption: Narinig ko lang pangalan nila!

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Customs broker Mark taguba has apologized to Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and lawyer Manases Carpio for dragging their names into the corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

In a statement sent by his lawyer, Raymond Fortun, on Friday (September 1) Taguba clarified that he never tagged Duterte and Carpio, the husband of Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, in the shipment of illegal drugs or the giving of “tara” or bribes to Customs officials.

He said the names of Duterte and Carpio were only mentioned by the so-called “Davao Group” whose direct contacts to him were a certain “Tita Nannie” and “Jack.”

He said any link between the two members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s family are “hearsay in nature.”

“I am making this statement to clear Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and Atty. Manse Carpio from any involvement in the shipment of illegal drugs into the country, and any anomalies in the Bureau of Customs,” Taguba said.

“I also hereby apologize to Vice Mayor Duterte, Atty. Carpio and to the First Family for the proliferation of fake news arising out of my testimony at the Senate yesterday,” he added.

The names of Duterte and Carpio were mentioned during the Senate blue ribbon committee’s hearing on the entry of the P6.4-billion shabu shipment on Thursday (August 31).

Taguba, who served as the broker of the contraband cargo, said he worked with the “Davao Group” to facilitate the smooth movement of his shipments out of the BOC in exchange for multimillion-peso payments.

At one point during the hearing, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV asked Taguba to read text messages between him and Tita Nanie.

In one of the messages, Tita Nanie mentioned the names “Paolo” and “Pulong,” the vice mayor’s nickname. There was also a mention of a certain “Mance” in a text message dated March 17.

Asked who “Mance” was, Taguba said: “Yung Mance po, ito yung asawa ni Mayor Sara.”

But in his statement, Taguba clarified that he had never met either the vice mayor or Carpio.

“At no time have I met either Vice Mayor Duterte or Atty. Carpio in person, much less discuss any illegal transaction at the Bureau of Customs with them,” he said.