Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s son Paolo is being accused of having links to a crime syndicate responsible for a seized drug shipment from China worth $125 million based on his “dragon-like” tattoo.
The Duterte administration has been criticized by Sen. Antonio Trillanes, who now claims that he has evidence to support Duterte’s connection to drugs.
Trillanes insisted that Paolo was part of a criminal syndicate due to his tattoo that contained secret digits, according to Reuters via Business Insider
. The senator even tried convincing Duterte’s son to have his tattoo photographed so that the hidden numbers could be decoded by the DEA in the United States, but the 42-year-old strongly declined saying, “No way.”
While Paolo admitted that he does have a tattoo, he refused to describe it and invoked his right to privacy. Trillanes then moved on to question Paolo’s bank account but the president’s son quickly dismissed the question as he considers it “irrelevant.”
However, the senator wasn’t willing to back down on his allegations as he presented another article of evidence of Paolo’s alleged links to drug trade. Trillanes presented the Senate panel with pictures of the Philippine president’s son standing beside a businessman while a shipment, believed to contain drugs, was behind them.
Duterte’s spokesman, Ernesto Abella, dismissed the photographic evidence citing it as mere “propaganda that can be used and misused.”
According to Rappler
, Abella criticized the senator’s evidence saying, “What does the picture prove? It’s different when it’s in the court, there’s really documentary evidence.”
Even the Philippine leader’s son brushed-off the allegations, which he deemed as “baseless” and adding, “I cannot answer allegations based on hearsay.” Paolo revealed that he was ready to face the “malicious allegations” since he has nothing to hide.
President Duterte himself was confident enough in his innocence to state that he would resign if critics could prove that his family was connected to any form of corruption. Duterte has been heavily criticized for his adamant stance on ridding the country of drugs even if it meant using lethal force to do so.