Duterte denies going after Drilon over Napoles allegations

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, January 24, denied pursuing a case against Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, following pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles' claim that the opposition lawmaker had received P5 million in campaign donation for the 2010 elections.

Duterte told Drilon that he was not going after him, despite this allegation.

The President said he did not give any instructions against Drilon as he considered the senator as his "friend."

"Senator Drilon, if I talked to somebody urging a case against you sa PDAF, bring that person in my presence and I will resign because you are my friend," Duterte said in a speech delivered in Pasay City prior to his departure for his visit to India.

"I said, it is not in my system, it is not in my style to go after (anyone)," he added.

In a recent interview aired by state-owned PTV4, Napoles divulged that she donated P5 million to Drilon's election campaign.

Napoles is currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City for plunder and graft cases, in connection with her alleged key role in the misuse of lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Drilon has denied receiving funds from Napoles and branded the accusation as pure harassment meant to malign the opposition.

Following Napoles' revelation, Malacañang said a proper investigation is necessary to allow her to provide "physical evidence" to substantiate her claim against the senator.

Duterte gave Drilon assurance that he is not making a move against him.

"Present anyone I instructed (in relation to) PDAF. Napoles said she has many to say. Your enemies are now ahead of you," he said.

"But you, (Drilon) you are my friend for a long time. So I respect that (friendship). I told you before in front of so many congressmen, I don't do anything against you," the President added. (Ruth Abbey Gita/SunStar Philippines)
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