THE Quezon City prosecutor’s office has dismissed complaints of grave threats filed by ACT Teachers party-list France Castro against former President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a 14-page resolution issued on January 9, 2023, the QC prosecutor said there was no sufficient evidence to indict Duterte over the said complaints.
“This office finds the evidence insufficient to indict respondent for Grave Threats inasmuch as the requisite elements for the crime appear to have been not sufficiently and concretely established, contrary to what the complainant wanted to impress upon this Office,” the resolution reads.
The Duterte camp received the resolution on January 12, 2023, Friday.
Castro filed complaints against Duterte in October 2023 for violation of Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code or grave threats in relation to the latter’s statement during a television interview where he said “But your first target there, using your intelligence funds, is you, France, you communists who I want to kill. I asked her to tell them that.”
Duterte made the statement as he defended the request of his daughter Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio for P650 million worth of intelligence and confidential funds to be used to stop communist insurgency.
This was after the House of Representatives stripped the Department of Education and Office of the Vice President of its 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 court, however, said that Castro failed to establish that Duterte’s threatening remarks should be taken seriously noting that the former President was even inserting sarcastic jokes in his remarks which “only indicates that he is not that serious enough to really execute and materialize the threats allegedly conceived in his mind.”
“If the intention of the respondent was really to intimidate and to take seriously such threatening remarks, and that his purpose was to create in the mind of the complainant the belief that the alleged threats will be carried into effect, he would not have taken so much prologues and would have just directly and immediately pronounced the threats conceived in his mind,” the prosecutor said.
“Moreover, it has to be remembered and taken into account that the alleged threats were perpetrated by the respondent during the height of the confidential fund issue, a somewhat political matter lobbied by the office of his daughter as Vice President of the Philippines and as Secretary of Department of Education and in the midst of brewing impeachment moves against her in connection with the said confidential fund,” he added.
In a statement on Saturday, January 13, Castro expressed disappointment over the dismissal of the case saying that it invalidates the fear that not only she feels but also of her family.
She said she would consult her lawyers to study their next move. (SunStar Philippines)