Legal top gun Francisco “Frank” Chavez is the lawyer representing Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and city councilor Paolo Duterte in the ‘arrogance of power’ raps raised against them before the Ombudsman.
The charges, filed by Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chair Etta Rosales, stemmed from the widely-publicized dirty fingers hurled by the Dutertes at critics who assailed Mayor Sara Duterte’s punching of a court sheriff early last month.
The Dutertes picking Frank Chavez, former Solicitor General, as their lawyer in the Ombudsman case is not surprising. Chavez is Vice Mayor Duterte’s bosom buddy, their friendship dating back to many years ago.
The Dutertes’ dirty fingers, captured during interviews with media, were aired on national television and drew the hackles of Rosales. The father-and-son tandem did the act as Mayor Sara Duterte was swamped with media and public criticism for punching court sheriff Abe Andres, after he refused to heed her plea to stop a court-ordered demolition of more than 200 urban poor shanties in Agdao district in Davao City.
The elder Duterte has defended himself saying doing the dirty finger is his constitutional and birth right and done to defend his daughter who was libeled and slandered in wake of the punching act.
The Ombudsman has asked the Dutertes to explain the dirty fingers following the Rosales complaint.
The Dutertes’ response prepared by Chavez was published in a one-page advertisement in the Philippine Daiiy Inquirer last week. ROGER M. BALANZA