Duterte: Case vs Australian no longer reconcilable

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Friday, December 13, 2013

DAVAO CITY Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, through his legal counsel, said on Thursday he is pressing charges against the 73-year-old Australian national accused of trying to run over him and his police escort.

This developed after the accused demanded a public apology and P10 million from the complainants, instead of accepting the vice mayor's move to withdraw the case he filed against the Australian national.

Duterte's legal counsel Alexis Lumbatan, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao Thusday, said the case against Michael Hatcher, an Australian treasure hunter, is no longer reconcilable and will not be resolved until the respondent will be convicted.

"Wala siya (Hatcher) naka-appreciate kung unsa ka seryoso ning iyang gina-atubang karon kay siya pa nuon ang naay lakas ng loob nga magdemand ug P10 million and public apology, (Hatcher did not appreciate how serious this case he is facing right now since he still has the nerves to demand P10 million and a public apology.)"

Lumbatan also said that Duterte had already forgiven Hatcher and was about to drop the cases against the latter yet the respondent demanded for the payment and apology thus, he was forced to file a motion to issue a warrant of arrest against Hatcher. This after the respondent failed to appear before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 16 in a hearing last November 27. Lumbatan also filed the motion for issuance of a hold departure order against Hatcher.

RTC Branch 16 presiding judge Emmanuel Carpio ordered Hatcher to respond or object to the motion within 10 days. Duterte's counsel, however, said they are yet to receive Hatcher's response to the motion.

"We have not yet received any response from Hatcher. But now that there is a warrant against him, it would be more difficult for him to go out of the country. We also urge law enforcers to implement the warrant as soon as they receive a copy of it since he bared his address. We believe he is still in Makati City," Lumbatan added.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 13, 2013.

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