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House to Support Possible Complaint vs. Ex-Pres. Duterte Over Death Threats Against Minority Lawmaker

The House of Representatives will support any legal action that may be filed against former president Rodrigo Duterte after he issued a death threat against an opposition lawmaker, Majority leader Manuel Dalipe said.

“I think the House will be united to stop all of these statements that are not really needed to be issued by any person,” he told CNN Philippines’ The Source on Wednesday.

Duterte in a TV interview last week defended his daughter Sara Dutere for requesting confidential funds of ₱500 million for the Office of the Vice President and ₱150 million for the Department of Education. He said the first target of such funding should be ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro and the rest of the Makabayan bloc.

Pero, ang una mong target sa intelligence fund mo, kayo, ikaw France, kayong mga komunista ang gusto kong patayin,” he added.

[Translation: But, the first target of your intelligence fund would be you, France, you communists whom I want to kill]

Dalipe said the House is taking any threats to its members seriously. Such statements should not be made by anyone especially against a sitting lawmaker, or even the president and vice president, he added.

Parang pumupunta ka sa airport tapos sasabihin mo may dala-dala kang bomba na it’s just a joke so the House takes that threat seriously,” he added.

[Translation: It’s like you go to the airport and say you have a bomb but it’s just a joke so the House takes that threat seriously.]

The Makabayan bloc has said it is considering a possible legal action versus the former president. 

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Secretary General Kristina Conti said Duterte should be held accountable as his statement “comes with the context that he is personally capable and willing to see these kinds of threats through.”

The House leader also expressed disappointment after Duterte accused the lower chamber of corruption, even calling it the “most rotten institution” in the country. This was after secret funds of offices led by his daughter, among others, were reprioritized to agencies focusing on national security.

“We really felt bad considering that a lot of us supported him during the 18th Congress, 17th Congress when he wanted our support for his legislative agenda, we were there for him during the COVID pandemic when he needed funds,” Dalipe added.

The lawmaker said he verified through House records that the chamber had no notice of suspension, notice of disallowance, or any pending case with the Commission on Audit. He also said Congress is not exempted from any documentation or reports required by state auditors.

Source : CNN Philippines