Quezon City prosecutor to resolve grave threat case vs Duterte if…

Delon Porcalla, Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Quezon City prosecutor to resolve grave threat case vs Duterte if�
Former president Rodrigo Duterte Presidential.
Photo / Roemari Lismonero

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office will decide on the criminal complaint against former president Rodrigo Duterte based on the pieces of evidence presented against him, after Duterte said he would rather be jailed instead of filing a counter-affidavit after a subpoena was issued against him.

In a text message to The STAR, Rico Domingo, one of the lead counsels of ACT-Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, said that if Duterte fails to submit his counter-affidavit during the preliminary investigation slated on Dec. 4 and 11, the investigating prosecutor will take into consideration the evidence provided by Castro in resolving the complaint of grave threats against the former president.

“If the prosecutor finds probable cause to file the criminal case in court and put Duterte to trial, he will issue an information and file it in the regional trial court of Quezon City,” Domingo said.

Domingo made the statement after Duterte said that he would choose to be imprisoned rather than address the charges filed against him by Castro.

Quezon City senior assistant city prosecutor Ulric Badiola signed the subpoena ordering Duterte to appear before the fiscal’s office at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 and Dec. 11.

Badiola said the subpoena against Duterte was in line with the preliminary investigation of the case of grave threats filed by Castro against Duterte, in connection with Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code relating to Section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

He directed Duterte to submit his counter-affidavit as well as the affidavits of his witnesses and supporting documents.

Castro filed a criminal complaint against Duterte, alleging grave threats issued in his television program titled “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” on SMNI and aired on Oct. 11, where the former president 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 (The first one to target with your intelligence fund, you France, and other communists who I like to kill. Tell her now).”

According to Castro, it was clear that Duterte was referring to her, as during the first part of the interview, the former chief executive mentioned her full name.

Castro said that the attacks of Duterte against her came after she scrutinized the confidential funds of his daughter, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

The elder Duterte could face a maximum of six years imprisonment, and a fine of P100,000, in case the court finds him guilty of grave threats.

Spare PNP, AFP from partisan politics

Duterte should be statesman enough to steer clear from matters that only tend to polarize the government, like insinuating about purported plots by state security forces to topple the administration of President Marcos. 

In a statement, House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe pointed out that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) are professionals, and the last thing they need and want are political intrigues. 

“I respectfully appeal to former president Duterte to recognize the paramount importance of keeping our AFP and PNP free from partisan politics. These institutions serve as the bedrock of our nation’s security, and their effectiveness relies on unity and impartiality,” he said.

The Zamboanga City congressman noted that speculations about unrest among law enforcement authorities could “unnecessarily raise questions about the professionalism and neutrality of the uniformed service.”

“We have already achieved so much in our quest to professionalize our military and police service. Let us not squander what we have accomplished by putting the AFP and the PNP in a bad light because of these baseless statements,” Dalipe added.

At the same time, the administration stalwart rectified misimpressions by Duterte about an alleged “ambition” of Speaker Martin Romualdez to run for president in the May 2028 elections, where he may be pitted against his daughter.

“It’s not only baseless, but also premature,” he set the record straight, adding the presidential election is still too far away, and Romualdez is wasting no time ensuring the swift passage of the Marcos administration’s priority measures.

According to Dalipe, Duterte’s statements insinuating that the AFP and PNP are involved in political activities are very unfair to the officers and enlisted personnel who have worked hard to restore the credibility and high level of professionalism of the uniformed service.

He emphasized that as a former president, Duterte should prioritize the nation’s well-being over political interests, fostering an environment where the AFP and PNP can fulfill their duties without being entangled in divisive political agendas.

The Mindanao congressman stressed that the days of military adventurism are over, and the AFP and the PNP are focused on carrying out their constitutional mandate as pillars of the country’s democracy and sovereignty.

“The AFP and the PNP have more important things to do than watching Congress, as claimed by the former president. Our uniformed service must be insulated from partisan activities and should maintain the highest degree of professionalism,” Dalipe said.

He emphasized that any form of partisanship in the AFP and PNP could undermine their professionalism and erode public trust.

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