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Duterte absent again at second preliminary probe on grave threat raps

MANILA, Philippines — Former President Rodrigo Duterte once again missed the preliminary investigation into the grave threats complaint lodged against him by Rep. France Castro (ACT-Teachers).

Castro noted that Duterte submitted his counter-affidavit in Davao City, personally subscribing to it before a prosecutor. She anticipates a resolution from the prosecutor’s office by January.

In an interview, Castro expressed disappointment over Duterte's absence, citing a given manifestation about the distance as the reason for his non-appearance.

"Hindi na naman dumating si dating Pangulong Duterte. Meron silang binigay na manifestation narinig ko lang dahil malayo daw 'yung lugar," Castro said in an interview with reporters.

(Former President Duterte didn't arrive again. They provided a manifestation, but I only heard of it because they said the location was far.)

Castro speculated that Duterte may have thought she would overlook the threats, given that his previous remarks about her and other issues seemed casual or joking. 

"Siguro biro lang kay dating presidenteng Duterte 'yung sinasabi niyang mga threat, pambabastos sa kababaihan at iba pang ano-anong sinasabi niya - red-tagging at whatever - pero this time, sineseryoso na natin siya,” she said.

(Former President Duterte might have previously made those threats and disrespectful remarks, including red-tagging, in a casual or jesting manner. However, this time, we're approaching his statements with seriousness and gravity.)

Duterte faces charges under Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code following remarks made during his program, "Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa," alongside Apollo Quiboloy, one of the FBI's most wanted, at Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI).

The threats arose after Castro criticized Vice President Sara Duterte's confidential and intelligence funds, currently the subject of three pending petitions before the Supreme Court.

On the first hearing of the case, Castro also filed a supplemental affidavit citing continued threats by the former president in SMNI. 

During the initial hearing, Castro filed a supplemental affidavit citing ongoing threats by Duterte in SMNI.

In his counter-affidavit,