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Rep. Castro files first post-presidency criminal complaint vs Rodrigo Duterte

ACT-Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro of the progressive Makabayan Bloc on 24 October, filed a criminal complaint against former president Rodrigo Duterte before the Quezon City Prosecutors Office in connection with the grave threats from the former chief executive.

“I filed a criminal complaint against former president Rodrigo Duterte to make him liable amid the serious threat against me during his program on Oct. 11. He has no immunity (from suit). He should face the case filed against him,” Castro said.

She was referring to Duterte’s television program Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa on the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) and aired on Oct. 11, wherein the former president – addressing criticism of his daughter Vice President Sara Duterte’s confidential funds – said, “Pero ang una mong target d’yan (sa) intelligence fund mo, kayo, ikaw France, kayong mga komunista ang gusto kong patayin. Sabihin mo na sa kanya (But your first target there, using your intelligence funds, is you, France, you communists who I want to kill. Tell her that).”

The elder Duterte’s thirst for secret funds, which was removed from his daughter’s Office of the Vice President and DepEd budgets by a “small committee”, also led him to attack the institution that had backed him throughout his six-year presidency. The House is the “most corrupt institution,” he alleged.

The House leaders (led by Speaker Romualdez, cousin of Marcos Jr.) took offence at Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades on his daugther’s loss of confidential funds. The ranking House lawmakers urged Duterte “and all parties involved” to “avoid making threats or insinuating harm against any member of the House or the institution itself,” according to the statement sent to the media by House Secretary General Reginald Velasco Saturday night.

Political observers note that this opens a crack in the ‘UniTeam’, Marcos-Duterte alliance in the past elections.

Previously, Marcos Jr. disengaged from any contact with the International Criminal Court (ICC) after the tribunal rejected the Philippines’ request to suspend the investigation into the Duterte administration’s war on drugs pending a ruling on Manila’s main appeal against the resumption of the probe.

In a related development, the Makabayan bloc lawmakers have called on the Marcos Jr. to support the International Criminal Court’s probe into the so-called war on drugs after former President Rodrigo Duterte publicly admitted to bankrolling the killing sprees in Davao City. The House resolution urges the lower chamber to collectively urge the president to clear the way for the ICC to investigate Duterte in connection to the alleged extrajudicial killings carried out when he was president and, earlier, Davao City mayor.

“With former Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s televised admission of ordering extrajudicial killings and financing them with his confidential and intelligence funds, it is imperative that we allow the ICC to investigate his crimes,” said Castro.