ACT Teachers Partylist Representative Files Charges Against Former President Duterte

ACT Teachers Partylist Representative Files Charges Against Former President Duterte

House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Partylist Representative France Castro filed a grave threat complaint against former President Rodrigo Duterte at the Office of the City Prosecutor in Quezon City this Tuesday, October 24, 2023

She was accompanied by Atty. Tony La ViΓ±a and Rico Domingo from the Movement Against Disinformation (MAD) in filing the criminal case pursuant to Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code in response to the former president's threat to her life.

"He (Duterte) needs to be held accountable for the severe threat to my life," Castro stated in her interview following the legal action.

Duterte targeted Castro on October 10 after she openly criticized the confidential and intelligence funds (CIFs) of his daughter, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte. The former president stated on Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) that the vice president would utilize these funds for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and to counter the communist insurgency.

"But your first target in your intelligence fund, 'you, France (Castro), you communists, I want to kill you," Duterte said on an SMNI program in response to recent criticisms by the lawmaker towards the vice president due to the Office of the Vice President (OVP) spending ₱125 million in confidential funds in 2022 within 11 days.

The spending also drew criticism and negative public reactions.

Subsequently, the House Committee on Appropriations rejected the proposal for the Vice President's confidential funds and allocated the budget to various agencies responsible for the security of the West Philippine Sea.

Resisting threats, red-tagging

Like Castro, other prominent personalities also filed cases due to red-tagging against them on SMNI and social media.

It can be recalled that GMA journalist Atom Araullo filed a P2 million civil complaint against former Anti-Insurgency Task Force spokesperson Lorraine Badoy and 'Laban Kasama ang Bayan' host Jeffrey Celiz. The complaint was filed in September at the Office of the City Prosecutor in Quezon City, along with Atty. Tony La ViΓ±a. The case is related to red-tagging the broadcast journalist and some members of his family. The two defendants have a television program on SMNI where they repeatedly red-tag critics or dissenters of the administration's actions or programs.

Atom's mother, Carol Araullo, the Emeritus Chairperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), also filed a P2.15 million civil damages lawsuit in July against Badoy and Celiz. This is due to severe red-tagging affecting their organization and allegations that they are part of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

The purpose of filing these cases is to hold individuals accountable and to stop the defamation against individuals, especially when red-tagging is often accompanied by threats of violence.

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