Finally without immunity, former president Rodrigo Duterte was slapped with a criminal charge in a Philippine court for grave threats against an incumbent member of the House of Representatives.
ACT Teachers Party Representative and Deputy Minority Leader France Castro filed a grave threat complaint against Duterte after the latter publicly said in a television interview last week he will kill the legislator and other alleged Communists.
“He no longer has immunity. He is no longer president. He should not do this to a congressperson, much more to fellow Filipinos,” Castro said after she filed her complaint at the Quezon City Hall of Justice on Tuesday, October 24.
Castro, accompanied by her lawyers Antonio La Viña and Rico Domingo, charged Duterte with violation of Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code, punishable by up to six months imprisonment and a fine of PhP100,000.
In a live interview with United States fugitive Apollo Quiboloy on Sonshine Media Network Inc. channel last Tuesday, Duterte he will kill Castro and other alleged Communists.
“But, the first target of your (Vice President Sara Duterte) intelligence fund would be you, France. I want to kill all of you Communists,” Duterte said in Filipino.
Duterte also admitted to killing more Communists in Davao where he ruled as a multi-term mayor.
Duterte added, “The intelligence fund, I bought (used) it, I had them all killed. That is why Davao is like that. Your colleagues, I really had them murdered. That is the truth.”
Castro, in mourning at the time for the death of her father, did not issue a statement.
Castro and fellow Makabayan bloc members Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Arlene Brosas and Kabataan Youth Party Representative Raoul Manuel against earned the ire of the controversial politician for leading the opposition to confidential and intelligence funds to agencies without security mandates.
Sara Duterte has requested the combined amount of PhP650 million for the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education that was eventually disallowed by Congress.
“Threatening the lives of elected representatives is a blatant violation and a dangerous attack on the rights of individuals who are merely pushing for transparency and accountability in government spending,” Brosas said after the filing.
“We take his threats seriously, especially with his administration’s bloody legacy of extrajudicial killings and political persecution,” Brosas added.
Duterte’s latest threats have also been submitted by former senator Antonio Trillanes IV to the International Criminal Court where the 78-year old former president is also facing charges of mass murder and crimes against humanity. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)