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Pulong to father’s critics: ‘Don’t be onion-skinned’

DAVAO City Rep. Paolo Duterte yesterday defended his father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, from the criminal complaint filed by Rep. France Castro (PL, ACT), saying public servants should not be “onion-skinned” when criticized.

“We all have the right to file a complaint against anyone in court. But public servants should not be onion-skinned and should not make use of this right as a tool to silence critics,” the younger Duterte said in a statement.

Castro on Tuesday filed a criminal complaint against the elder Duterte before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office for threatening her life in a television interview, which was also posted online.

The militant lawmaker, who is a member of the Makabayan bloc, filed a complaint of grave threat under Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code and Section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 against the former chief executive for his statements in an October 11 interview with Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) where he defended his daughter Vice President Sara Duterte’s request for confidential funds under the proposed P5.768 trillion national budget for 2024.

The elder Duterte said in the interview that he told the Vice President that she should have been candid enough to tell members of the militant Makabayan bloc in Congress that they are really the target of the confidential funds that she was requesting and that he wants to kill Castro and all groups he branded as communists.

Rep. Duterte, the Vice President’s older brother, however said their father “has received much harsher and humiliating criticisms in the past but never filed a case against anyone.”

“As public servants, we all are under scrutiny by the Filipino people. If the former president has said something that threatened her, then maybe she should come out clean, ‘di yung nagtatago tayo sa likod ng so-called right na ito (instead of hiding behind this so-called right to file a complaint),” he said.

As a House member himself, Rep. Duterte said he also knows “a lot of things about left-leaning party-list representatives.”

“Tigilan na lang natin ang kadramahan at pagpapa-media (Let’s stop all the drama and media mileage),” he said.