Duterte denies hand in Napoles' accusations vs Drilon

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte denied he had a hand in Janet Lim Napoles’ going public with her accusations against Senator Franklin Drilon.

Duterte, on Wednesday, January 24, said he would never initiate a case build-up against Drilon since he considers the veteran lawmaker his “friend.”

“Senator Drilon, if I talk to somebody urging a case against you with PDAF, bring that person in my presence and I will resign because you are my friend,” said Duterte before his flight to India.

He claimed it’s not in his “style” to run after those critical of his administration.

“It is not in my system, it is not in my style na maghabol ng, ni wala akong pakilama sa kaso ninyo sa Mamasapano (to run after – I don’t eve care about your Mamasapano case),” he said.

It should be recalled, however, that Duterte did suggest the re-opening of the probe on the Mamasapano tragedy, in which 44 Special Action Forces personnel were killed in a raid for a terrorist.

Duterte had blamed former president Benigno Aquino III for the massascre.

The President said he “respects” Drilon and thus will not himself act on Napoles’ accusations. But he told the lawmaker not to push his luck.

Ikaw kasi kaibigan kita noon pa, rinerespeto kita. Wala akong ginagawa against you but do not force the issue,” said Duterte.

(You are my friend since before, I respect you. I didn’t do anything against you but do not force the issue.)

Napoles, alleged pork barrel scam queen, told Erwin Tulfo, an anchor with state-run channel PTV, that she had given Drilon P5 million for his campaign. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.