By Raïssa Robles
An ABS-CBN-ANC TV video has surfaced, revealing a disturbing scene. After Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte punched the Sheriff during a violent squatter demolition, the Sheriff slunk away as fast as he could but Mayor Sara’s bodyguards hauled him back and pushed his head down while Mayor Sara pulled the Sheriff’s hair.
See below my series of screen captures from the ABS-CBN-ANC video. The hand on the upper left corner is Mayor Sara’s, while the hand below that is her bodyguard’s:
I was among those who had applauded Mayor Sara for punching the Sheriff thrice last Friday.
I said she was on the wrong side of the law but on the right side of right because she was preventing bloodshed during a demolition. I did not see then what ABS-CBN-ANC has now revealed about the subsequent hair-pulling. It was like something out of a spaghetti western movie.
Now I know why Mayor Sara was so brave. She had back-up.
I also heard just now what Mayor Sara’s father, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, told reporters about the incident. He said he told his daughter not to apologize for what she did. Instead he advised her:
You celebrate, be happy, at least with the thought na nagprotect ka sa mga tao. […you protected the people]
On national TV, Rodrigo Duterte also flashed the dirty finger and cursed all his daughters’ media critics. Duterte’s dirty finger was meant for his daughter’s critics. He then bragged that in his hands, the Sheriff would not have gotten a mere slap. What he would have done to the Sheriff, he left to the imagination.
The ABS-CBN-ANC report managed to capture Rodrigo Duterte’s menacing tone:
Ano? Mga columnist? Oh! (shows dirty finger) ta#@n*a (expletive), hindi lang sampal ang inabot noon. (Expletive), you wage a battle against your own people using policemen?
While it is culturally understandable for a father to defend his daughter, Duterte was speaking not just as a father but as the Vice Mayor and probably Acting City Mayor when he gave that press conference.
The rest of the country’s politicians are now watching what the judiciary and the executive department will do with Duterte’s daughter.
Here’s why we should be watching, too
Because if Mayor Sara is let off easy, other local government executives can use the same reasoning to commit a violent action – they are doing it for the people.
In my lengthy years of news coverage, I have interviewed elected and appointed officials who have used that reasoning to justify violence and illegal activities.
Hours after watching the punching incident I asked myself – what is the difference between what Mayor Sara did and what Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac and his armed escorts did to government radio broadcaster Jerome Tabanganay early last month?
Governor Baac barged into the government radio station in Tabuk City and allegedly hit the broadcaster on the mouth with a microphone.
The radio anchor was often attacking the governor for his “alleged involvement in jueteng (illegal gambling) and illegal logging operations in the province,” according to the state-owned Philippine News Agency.
Many local government executives have justified their receiving pay-offs from illegal gambling by saying that the money they collect goes back to the people anyway, when the latter ask them to pay burial and medical expenses and stand in as godfathers during weddings and baptisms.
What I’m afraid of happening is the following scenario: a mayor or governor summons a newspaper, radio or tv reporter to please stop attacking him on an issue because his actions are meant to benefit the people and the reporter is getting in the way of his pro-people program. The reporter persists. And the mayor or governor gets so angry that he is carried away by emotions or his bodyguards anticipate his wishes.
In his press conference, Mayor Duterte inadvertently unmasked the true face of warlordism. Can warlordism exist in a democracy? Are the Dutertes the kind of officials we need to bring progress to the country?
Sara “the Slugger” Duterte; Malacañang’s ‘Samar faction’ mansion; & a post-steamy airplane scene
King Kano says
I am an American, and I feel much safer, settling in Davao city, than any other city in the Philippines, especially, in Luzon area…If you not realize, all developing countries go through this stage…They first have clans, the wild west, then warlords and so on, but you know what? Drug dealers, robbers, scammers, go to Olongapo, Calacoon, or Angeles, where they are welcome…I think we the people, need to vote and accept the best we have and this man and his family, are doing their best, being brought up in the second most corrupt country in the world, after Ghana…Who can he trust? He cannot trust the Federal government, local police, judges, no one, he is on his own, to make life better, for the good and worse for the bad…Throughout history, feudal, lord ways, are a part of Democracy, until people understand, that life is so much better, without corruption, people actually make more money…Corruption in America, causes poverty, same in your country and until we, all of us, Pinoy, and Kano, stand up against corruption, and die for freedom, we will never be free, kano, or pinoy..And, after so manhy of your women, are daily beaten by their husbands, it was good to see a woman, punch out one of your wimpy men, who only stand 5 feet, and talk foul about women, I love it…I am sorry, but I love your country, and it is obvious 85% of the people pinoy do not, because if you love someone, or something, you take good care of it, but God will judge soon..Salamat
Freddie Pinero says
I concur..i am cebuano and lives in my home city,Cebu. But my job brings me around the Visayas, also Mindanao areas including Davao. And yes, when i set foot in Davao, from the Airport to wherever, you have the sense of security,.cleanliness and peace.
I talked to friends who owns businesses and they are silently applauding Digong. They say,yeah not really something to give your high five for in the short term because say, business hours is shorter compared to other cities. But the say yes to Digong because Davao, where it is now is sure to lead the way in seeking prosperity for Mindanao because local and foreign investors keep Davao in their very short list of cities to put their investments in.
And is the cost worth it?
You get a sense of security because street kids, for instance, disappear?
Brazil military police formed death squads with a nod from their government and did a cleansing in 2007 until 2012 with approx 3000 ‘killables’ kids from the favelas in only a year.
These ‘killables’ kids were klled like chickens and nobody cared for they were considered as social scums by the authorities. Rio migh have another round of cleansing in preparation forthe coming Olympics.
If Davao cleansed their streets and rid of their drug users, once DU30 is president, those homeless families living on the streets might magically disappear to cleanse Metro Manila, within a month.
Pong Mondano says
Parekoy if that is true then all the people living in Davao are living in fear. But it’s the other way around for they are living in peace and security.
the poor, the streetchildren are living in fear.
Mark Stephen says
These “streetchildren” you’re referring to, Ms Raissa? Are the ones who will stab and rob you if you are not careful. You dont say poor if you only know who are these “streetchildren” were. ~ Lumad taga davao ko.
p.s. probably its time you should met one someday.
and for that the children deserve death.
King fish says
If King Kano is an American, I’m from Neptune
Chuchi Soriano says
Democracy is a very broad term. Democracy in first world economies will never work in a third world like ours. In Davao, and in the Philippines in general, we need that kind of Democracy which protects the least previliged, for people to have the right to live like people. It is not easy to be a leader in a complicated city, and I salute Mayor Sara for all her efforts and programs. I fully recognise the support of the vice mayor as well.