Gumagalaw na: Paolo Duterte’s accuser in drug smuggling may lose immunity

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Private broker Mark Taguba, who testified in the Senate and the House of Representatives about drug smuggling in the Bureau of Customs, could lose his congressional immunity over the “material differences” in his testimonies in the two Houses.

This was the opinion of PBA partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles, who said Taguba’s inconsistent statements in his appearances before the two chambers meant his entire testimony might be a lie.

“The testimony of Mark Taguba in the House and in the Senate have material differences and because of that I cannot accept his testimony in good faith. There is a legal precept: falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus. Mr. Taguba has not told Congress the whole truth and it may cost him his Congressional immunity,” he said.

It was Taguba who claimed he paid millions in protection money to the so-called “Davao Group” through a group that included Davao City Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera and an alleged friend and handler of President Rodrigo Duterte’s son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte. But Taguba said he did not personally meet with Duterte’s son.

Nograles did not identify the inconsistencies in Taguba’s testimonies, as the latter’s testimony in the House about Paolo Duterte’s alleged involvement had been kept confidential.

“I cannot legally divulge what was spoken about in executive session but I can tell you that there are details divulged in the Senate that are materially inconsistent, especially when it comes to the Davao Group. And yes, of course pwedeng bawiin ang congressional immunity,” he said.