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MANILA, Philippines – Former president Rodrigo Duterte was a no-show at the first preliminary investigation into the grave threats complaint filed by ACT Teachers Representative France Castro that was scheduled before the Office of the Prosecutor in Quezon City on Monday, December 4.
Due to Duterte’s absence, the preliminary probe slated for December 11 was postponed and rescheduled to December 15. He now has to respond to two complaints after Castro filed a supplemental complaint affidavit on Monday.
“Well, nandoon ‘yung dalawang counsel ni ex-president Duterte. Sinasabi nila, ina-allege nila, na wala pa daw natanggap si ex-president Duterte na subpoena at saka ‘yung aming complaint,” Castro told reporters.
(Well, the two counsels of ex-president Duterte were there. They were saying, they alleged that ex-president Duterte did not receive copies of the subpoena as well as our complaint.)
It was a surprise, even to Castro, that the former chief executive was represented by lawyers from the law firm of former executive secretary Salvador Medialdea. Many were led to believe that Duterte would tap his former presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque, to represent him.
Castro said Duterte’s camp supposedly wanted to “extend” or have more time before the next probe, but was only given 10 days to respond to complaints upon receipt.
The former chief executive is facing two grave threat complaints. This comes after Duterte again threatened Castro in a November 16 episode of his program, “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa,” aired on Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI). The first time was in October, on the same program.
Castro’s supplemental complaint notes Duterte saying: “Ikaw, France, how do you solve the problem now? Kaya ‘yun statement ko ‘yun komunista dapat patayin. Kasali ka dapat!” (And you, France, how do you solve the problem now? That’s why my statement is to kill communists. You should be included!)
“Kaya kami nag-try ng supplemental compaint affidavit ay para mapatunayan namin na continuous ang pag-grave threat ng dating pangulo kay congresswoman Castro,” lawyer Rico Domingo said.
(The reason why we tried to file a supplemental complaint affidavit is to prove that the former president’s grave threats against congresswoman Castro is continuous.)
Duterte first threatened Castro and attacked the House of Representatives and its leadership in October after the House denied the 2024 confidential fund requests of his daughter, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.
Amid a sharp drop in her approval ratings, the Vice President later withdrew her request for spy funds, saying the issue had become “divisive.” – Rappler.com