Rodrigo Duterte summoned by prosecutor for allegedly threatening a lawmaker

MANILA. Former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
MANILA. Former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.File photo

FORMER Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, known for his crackdown on illegal drugs that left thousands of suspects dead, has been summoned by a prosecutor to answer a separate allegation that he recently threatened a female lawmaker with death, the complainant said Wednesday, November 16, 2023.

It was the first known subpoena for a criminal complaint issued to Duterte since his stormy six-year presidential term ended in June last year.

Representative France Castro, who filed the criminal complaint against the former President, said in a statement that she and Duterte were jointly ordered to appear before a government prosecutor in Quezon City on December 4 and 11 to submit their statements at the start of an investigation into her complaint.

There was no immediate comment from Duterte, 78, who has retired from politics and now lives mostly in his hometown, Davao City.

Castro said the former President spoke in a TV show from Davao last month about a request by his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte, to Congress for intelligence funds, which drew criticism from left-wing groups and legislators, including Castro.

Castro said the ex-President suggested to his daughter that the intelligence funds should be used to target communists, mentioning the name France, and added that he wanted them killed.

She said that even though Duterte only mentioned her first name, he was clearly referring to her.

Castro told reporters that she feared for her life given Duterte's continuing influence.

“I got really nervous considering his influence and track record,” Castro told The Associated Press.

Sara Duterte, who also serves as education secretary, has decided to shelve her request for P500 million (nearly $9 million) in intelligence funds next year amid growing criticism. Such funds are normally used by law enforcement agencies.

Shortly after being elected to the presidency in 2016, Duterte expanded nationwide his deadly campaign against illegal drugs which he had started when he was mayor of Davao city.

More than 6,000 mostly petty drug dealers were killed in the campaign. The International Criminal Court has been investigating the killings as a possible crime against humanity.

Duterte denied ordering extra-judicial killings when he was in office, but openly threatened to kill drug traffickers and other criminal suspects in televised speeches. (AP)


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