Duterte on subpoena against him: I’d rather go to jail

MANILA. Former President Rodrigo Duterte.
MANILA. Former President Rodrigo Duterte.File photo by Presidential Communications Office

FORMER President Rodrigo Duterte said he is willing to go to jail after a Quezon City court issued him a subpoena in relation to the criminal charges filed against him by ACT Teachers’ partylist Representative France Castro.

“Magpakulong na lang ako. Kasi wala naman akong… Ino-opress ako ni France (I'll just go to jail. Because I don't have anything... France is oppressing me),” Duterte said, when asked about his response to the subpoena issued by the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday, November 15, during the television program Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa of the Sonshine Media Network International.

“Pero paglabas ko talagang, paglabas ko sa, magpakulong ako, paglabas ko, hanapin [muted]. Alam mo nakikinig lahat ng military, intelligence community. Akala mo happy yan sila?" he added.

(But when I actually get out, when I get out… I go to jail, when I get out, look for [muted]. You know all the military, intelligence community is listening. Do you think they are happy?)

The court ordered Duterte and Castro to appear before the prosecutor’s office on December 4 and 11 to submit their statements at the start of an investigation on the latter’s complaint.

The charges stemmed from Duterte’s statement where he tagged Castro as a communist, adding further that he wants to kill them.

He made the remarks as he defended the request for confidential funds of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education, which are both under his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio.

The House of Representatives earlier stripped the DepEd and OVP of their confidential funds and reallocated the budget to government agencies in charge of securing the country’s territory at the West Philippine Sea amid the continuous harassment of China.

The subpoena, however, did not prevent Duterte from issuing yet another offensive against Castro during the program.

"Kaya ikaw, France (Castro), how do you solve the problem now? Kaya 'yung statement kong komunista patayin, kasali ka — dapat!" he said.

(So you, France (Castro), how do you solve the problem now? That's why my statement is to kill communists, and you should be involved.)

In a press conference on Friday, November 17, Castro urged Duterte to face the charges against him or it will be considered disrespect to the court.

She said her legal team is already looking into Duterte’s recent statements against her.

“Titignan natin kung ito ay puwedeng isama as evidence doon sa kaso (We will see if this can be included as evidence in the case), or we will file another case,” said Castro. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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