Paolo Duterte comes to father’s defense, insists Rody never retaliated vs critics
MANILA, Philippines — Rep. Paolo Duterte (Davao City) on Thursday insisted that his statements alleging Rep. France Castro (ACT Teachers) overreacted to the televised death threats hurled against her by his father was his way of defending his family.
"It is imperative upon me to stand by my family and protect my family… That's where I'm coming from,” Duterte said in a statement his office sent to Philstar.com.
“You filed a case, let the court look at the merits. Simple as that. Like what I said, it is your right,” the lawmaker said in a mix of English and Filipino, adding that he has “heard worse” than the words uttered by former President Rodrigo Duterte against Castro.
The Davao City representative is the eldest son of the former president and the latest member of the Duterte family to issue a public rebuttal against critics who have condemned the elder Duterte for issuing grave threats on national television.
This comes after Rep. France Castro (ACT Teachers) on Monday filed the first criminal complaint against Rodrigo Duterte after his presidency over the remarks he uttered during an interview on media network SMNI.
During the televised interview, which was also streamed in a now-deleted YouTube video, the former president said: “Pero ang una mong target sa intelligence fund… ikaw France. Kayong mga komunista ang gusto kong patayin (But, the first target of your intelligence fund… is you France. I want to kill all you communists.)”
Reacting to the criminal complaint, Paolo Duterte on Wednesday said that Castro was “onion-skinned” for pursuing charges against his father.
Castro then clapped back at the House lawmaker, stressing that death threats made publicly “ endanger the lives of people” and “fosters the state of impunity.”
In a new statement on Thursday, Paolo Duterte accused Castro of “sensationalizing” the issue and called on the Makabayan bloc lawmaker to exert the same effort in “(protecting) the farmers and innocent victims killed by members of the New People’s Army.”
Castro has repeatedly been accused of allying with rebel groups by Paolo’s sister, Vice President Sara Duterte — one of many allegations that the Alliance of Concerned Teachers