By Benjamin Pulta

Former president Rodrigo R. Duterte. (File photo)

MANILA – Former president Rodrigo R. Duterte said the grave threat charge filed against him by ACT Party-list Rep. France Castro before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office was purely speculative.

In his 12-page counter affidavit sworn before Davao City Prosecutor Arnold Abejaron, Duterte said: “It is pure speculation, if not altogether improbable or manifestly absurd, to suppose that any of the essential elements of the crime charges against me are present as to warrant the filing of an information in court.”

“Perhaps they found it opportune that I am no longer a public official entitled to immunity from suit, thus allowing  themselves to take advantage of trivial and measly concerns in order to retaliate. However aside from quoting speeches and interviews, I have previously given, Castro failed to adduce evidentiary proof to corroborate the foregoing assertions,” the former president said.

He added that the complaint “does not contain any allegation that could even remotely support a well-founded belief that I committed the crime alleged thereon.”

The cases arose from supposed statements made by Duterte during the Oct.  11 episode of Sonshine Media Network International’s (SMNI) program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa.”

Castro claimed the former president linked her to communist terrorist groups and gravely threatened her life, liberty, and security.

Castro alleged that as a result of the statements made by the former chief executive, she now lives in constant fear that she will become a victim of extrajudicial killing, forced disappearance, and illegal arrest. (PNA)