MANILA MalacaAang on Monday said it respects the decision of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) to file a series of cases against President Rodrigo Duterte once his term ends in 2022.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said any Filipino is free to file cases against anyone who has violated the law.
It's a free country. Everyone is entitled to file any case against who they think has violated the law and let the courts decide the validity of such complaint, Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo said the President's concern is how to give the Filipino people a comfortable life and not the possible cases to be filed against him.
The only worry that the President has is the suffering of the people that's why he does a lot of things to make lives comfortable for them, Panelo said.
NUPL national chairperson Neri Colmenares said they plan to file a series of cases against the President including crimes against humanity, grave threats, and civil cases for damages for victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
Colmenares said the NUPL will also file charges before international bodies such as United Nations since the Philippine justice system is unable to provide legal remedies to victims of EJK and other human rights violations.
During his recent visit to Russia, Duterte reiterated that he will take responsibility for all of the consequences of his campaign against illegal drugs.
Panelo said Palace also respects the satirical cheer dance of University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas Skimmers, an academic organization under the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), which tackled several political and social issues such as the administration's policy on the West Philippine Sea, the Rice Tariffication Law and the red-tagging of students, among other issues.
The Skimmers became the target of online harassment by pro-Duterte supporters because their cheer dance included a segment where the students cheered Kill the President but followed it with the word charot to signify that it was a joke.
As you said, obviously they were joking. It's a free country they can dish out jokes, criticisms, Panelo said.
Panelo said the Skimmers were free to use the word kill since the President has mentioned the same word in several speeches.
Eh si Presidente din nagsasabi ng 'kill'. Baka ginagaya lang nila si Presidente (The President himself uses the word 'kill.' Maybe they're just copying the President), Panelo said.
Panelo, however, did not give a clear answer when asked if Palace would discourage pro-Duterte supporters against making online threats targeting students who were part of the cheer dance.
That's very natural reaction for supporters of the President. It's a free country they can react too, he added. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency