Trillanes wants Davao councilor summoned to P6.4-B shabu probe

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV sought a Senate subpoena for a Davao City councilor to attend the probe into the P6.4 billion worth of shabu smuggled from China.

Trillanes wrote a letter to Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Richard Gordon to request the appearance of Davao City Councilor Nilo "Small" Abellera in the next hearing set for Tuesday, August 22.

The senator also asked the committee to invite Hernani Co, the chief of the Auction Division of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Aside from the two, Trillanes also wants the panel to summon Lourdes Rosario from the BOC Imports and Assessment Section.

In congressional hearings, Customs fixer and broker Mark Taguba said a certain Small, Jack, and Tita Nanie are part of the so-called Davao Group involved in smuggling.

Trillanes claimed Small is Abellera, while Tita Nanie refers to a certain Lourdes. Co, meanwhile, was earlier identified in a House committee hearing also as Tita Nanie.

Trillanes claimed Abellera is known to be close to Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, son of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"So the question is, why would a councilor from Davao City be dealing with some brokers? And this Small Abellera is known in Davao City to be very close to Paolo Duterte," Trillanes said in an interview with ANC.

In an earlier House hearing, Taguba claimed Paolo Duterte was being name-dropped by some BOC officials involved in smuggling.

But Taguba later on told the Senate panel that it was just hearsay and he has no personal knowledge of the matter.

Gordon earlier said there is no evidence showing that the presidential son is involved in drug smuggling.

The President earlier said he would resign if there is evidence to back claims any of his children is involved in corruption. –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a multimedia reporter focusing on media, technology, and disinformation.