DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 Dec) – City Mayor Sara Duterte has supported the complaints filed by her husband, lawyer Manases Carpio, and brother Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte against opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for maliciously accusing them of extortion and corruption.
Mayor Duterte said in a press briefing in her office Friday that she hopes the complaints against the opposition senator would prosper as what he did to them was “too much,” especially because her husband is a private individual.
“He is not a public official, he is not public property. I support my husband and my brother in the case that they filed and I hope it will prosper,” she said.
A six-page complaint dated December 5 but released to media on Friday stated that the complainants were aghast to hear Trillanes maliciously accuse them of “purported rampant and widespread corruption/extortion.”
It added that Trillanes indicted and accused Carpio and her brother of extortion against Uber in conspiracy with Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Central Visayas director Ahmed Cuison, Philippine Road Board, and Department of Public Works and Highways during a radio interview last September 2017 in Cebu City.
It added that Trillanes’s accusation is “downright libelous, defamatory and pure black propaganda” that was meant to “malign, destroy and kills plaintiffs’ and the Duterte family’s good name and reputation locally, nationally, and internationally.”
Complainants are asking Trillanes to pay P6.6 million in damages – P3 million moral damages, P3 million exemplary damages, P500,000 attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation and P100,000 nominal damages.
Mayor Duterte added she feels it was only right to file a complaint against Trillanes.
The vice mayor announced his resignation during a special council session here on Christmas Day out of “delicadeza” when his name was dragged over the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling from China that arrived in the country via the Manila International Container Port in Tondo, Manila last May 16.
He also cited as reason the public squabble that involved Isabelle, his daughter with ex-wife Lovelie Sangkola Sumera, on social media. Isabelle drew the ire of netizens for her “inappropriate” pre-debut pictorial inside Malacañang Palace.
The eldest son of President Rodrigo R. Duterte said the recent controversies where he figured in are closely tied to his “failed first marriage” with Lovelie.
The mayor added that the vice mayor’s letter of resignation transmitted to the Office of the President on December 27 is awaiting approval of their father, President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
The vice mayor and his brother-in-law Carpio appeared in a Senate committee probe on September 7 where they denied involvement in the shabu smuggling.
“He (Trillanes) harassed my husband. I guess it’s only right that he would also be harassed by my husband. That’s why, I feel it was the right move because I’ve been telling him that he should not keep quiet, that he must fight back if he’s being attacked. He did not start this,” Mayor Duterte said.
Section 44 of the Republic Act (RA) 7160, Local Government Code of 1991, states: “If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the governor or Mayor, the vice-governor or vice-mayor concerned shall become the governor or Mayor. If a permanent vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor, vice-governor, Mayor, or vice-mayor, the highest ranking Sanggunian member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking Sanggunian member, shall become the governor, vice-governor, Mayor or vice-mayor, as the case may be. Subsequent vacancies in the said office shall be filled automatically by the other Sanggunian members according to their ranking as defined herein.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)