QC Prosecutor summons Duterte, faces first complaint post-presidency

By: Reigh John Bench Almendras
November 16, 2023

Rodrigo Duterte said he was reacting to critics who compared him to Adolf Hitler. Photo courtesy of NDTV.

Former president Rodrigo Duterte is summoned to face a complaint for Grave Threat under Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code and Section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 filed by ACT Teachers Partylist Representative France Castro to the Quezon City Prosecutors Office.

The QCPO sent a subpoena to Duterte on Wednesday, November 15 which demands his presence before the fiscal’s office on December 4 and 11 due to the case pinned on him. 

The pieces of evidence presented before the Quezon City Prosecutors Office are the statements the former president had stated in his interview with Gikan sa Masa, a segment of the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) about the confidential fund (CF) issue of his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte.

Former president Duterte said he advised his daughter to be frank with the House of Representatives, particularly to Castro, that the CF will be utilized to stop the communist insurgency and revive the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

“But your first target there, using your intelligence funds, is you, France, you communist who I want to kill. I asked her to tell them that, but she refused, saying ‘You know pa, if I did that, they might harass the PMT’s [Philippine Military Training Institutions],” Duterte said. 

In her response, Representative Castro stated in her complaint that the then-president made several insinuations linking her name to communist armed movement without substantial evidence.

“Though factually baseless and clearly malicious, I cannot merely dismiss Respondent Duterte’s red-tagging and accompanying grave threats as either figurative, joking, or otherwise benign” Representative Castro stated as she pointed out red-tagged individuals who were eventually illegally arrested, detained, or killed.

The Quezon City Prosecutors Office required Duterte to appear on December 4 and 11 to submit his counter-affidavit or response to Castro’s complaint.

“No motion to dismiss shall be entertained. Only counter-affidavit shall be admitted otherwise, respondent is deemed to have waived the right to present evidence,” the subpoena stated.

Now a regular Filipino citizen, Duterte is no longer catered for by the presidential immunity granted by the 1987 Constitution which makes the president immune from civil and criminal cases only during tenure of office or entire incumbency.

The former president would be liable for a P100,000 fine and a maximum of six years imprisonment if found guilty.