Screen grab from Radio-TV Malacañang

President Rodrigo Duterte went on late-night television anew on Friday, this time to lash out at human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno and accuse him of encouraging people to violate the law and resist authorities.

In an address filled with name-calling and insults, Duterte said Diokno lost in last year’s race for senator because he had big teeth, and described the former dean of the De La Salle University College of Law and son of the late senator Jose W. Diokno as someone who talked like a “janitor.”

Diokno had volunteered to lawyer for urban poor dwellers of Sitio San Roque in Barangay Pag-asa, Quezon City, who were nabbed by police on Wednesday for protesting the lack of food distribution.

“You are an intellectual liar,” the president said of Diokno for supposedly taking issue with the presidential jet and yacht.

“Galit ako sayo,” he said.

Duterte urged the public to comply with police orders and lawful arrests, as it was their duty as citizens. He clarified that his order to the military and police on Wednesday to “shoot them dead” referred to troublemakers who resist arrest and endanger the lives of authorities.

Duterte also fired Commissioner Manuelito Luna of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) for calling on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo’s solicitations for relief programs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Alam mo, meron talagang taong gago. Si Leni was calling the private sector na magtulong, maghingi siya ng tulong. Tama ‘yan. Maghingi ka ng tulong sa kapwa mo tao,” Duterte said.

“Ngayon, ito naman, may tao ako na abogado sa PACC, Commissioner Manuelito Luna, gusto niya na ipa-imbestiga si Leni kung bakit nag-solicit. Anak ng–, Kaya nung narinig ko sinabi ko, ‘Fire him.’ As of this moment, he is no longer connected with government,” he added.

“Ako, panahon ng i-criticize ko si Leni, sometimes the language that I use is very… Pero itong panahon na ito na wala namang kasalanan ang vice president, nag-ano nga na mag-tulong, bakit ipa-imbestiga mo sa?”

Duterte distanced himself from the NBI’s summons to Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto to explain supposed violations of quarantine guidelines.

The president also expressed sadness that a law school classmate had died because of the virus. (