Int’l lawmakers’ group hits Rodrigo Duterte over threat vs France Castro
MANILA, Philippines — An international organization of national parliaments said it is “appalled” over former President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged threat against ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) likewise criticized Duterte for his statement which “has a serious impact” on Philippine Congress “as it may deter members from speaking out.”
Castro and former Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago have raised their concerns about having to endure consistent harassment as members of the House of Representatives before the IPU.
IPU’s main mission is to “empower parliaments and parliamentarians to promote peace, democracy, and sustainable development,” according to its official website.
“The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union is appalled that the former President of the Philippines directly threatened on air the life of a member of parliament; considers that, over and above the grave consequences for Ms. Castro herself, this matter also has a serious impact on the functioning of the Filipino Parliament as a whole, as it may deter its members from speaking out on important matters and put their lives at significant risk,” reads the decision of the IPU Governing Council adopted on October 27.
The ACT Teachers Partylist released a copy of the IPU Governing Council’s decision to the media on Wednesday, November 1.
The IPU also urged that Castro’s complaint against Duterte before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office will proceed swiftly.
It further “calls on the Ombudsman to take the necessary action to examine the complaint along with any steps its findings may warrant; and wishes to be kept informed in this regard.”
Last month, during a nationally-broadcast interview, Duterte allegedly uttered statements threatening Castro’s life as he discussed his supposed conversations with his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte, over her confidential funds for 2024.
“I told Inday (Sara) to be direct, tell them that the intelligence fund is meant to prepare the minds of the Filipinos, to address the insurgency that is taking a long time to end. And the ROTC so that we are prepared for war, especially in this situation, if we do not have soldiers, then we will have the youth who can take care of their respective barangays,” the former president said during the interview, which was likewise streamed on social media.
“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, but she refused, saying, ‘You know Pa, if I did that, they might harass the PMTs (Philippine Military Training institutions),’” he added.
Sought for a comment on this matter, Senator Bato Dela Rosa, an ally of the ex-president, told INQUIRER.net: “Let our court decide as to the merits of the case if indeed there was a threat.”
The Geneva-based IPU is a global organization composed of different parliamentary bodies from 180 countries, according to its website. It was instrumental in the formation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
INQUIRER.net has reached out to Vice President Sara Duterte for a comment on this matter, but she has yet to give her response as of this writing.