By Raïssa Robles
Yesterday I received comments from two people who claimed to be “Mayor Rodrigo Duterte” and “sara duterte”.
The alleged “Mayor Duterte” was quite foul-mouthed. (See comments to my story Defending daughter Sara, Vice-Mayor Duterte unmasks true face of warlordism.)
While the alleged “sara” was quite composed and pointed me to a Sunstar article in answer to my questions regarding the property from which the shanty dwellers were being forcibly evicted last Friday, which caused Mayor Sara to go ballistic.
But the best bit of information came from a piece written by Caroline Howard for ABS-CBNNews.com, where she managed to extract the following gems from Acting Mayor Rodrigo Duterte without the latter cursing at her.
Congratulations, Caroline, for asking the right questions and eliciting the following answers from Rodrigo Duterte:
Dito hindi naniniwala ng giyera, police, huwes, but ang mayor… this society remains feudal, [it] depends on the local government. [Here in Davao City, nobody believes in war, police, judges, but only believes in the mayor…]
You may elect a son of a bitch, but he remains the choice of the people. Mayor yan e, pili ng tao. [He’s the mayor, chosen by the people.]
Is it our fault we are in a state of feudalism until now? For as long as people depend on the dispensing authority, we remain in poverty.
My take on Rodrigo Duterte’s public hand-washing
Now my next statement will probably elicit endearing cuss words from some readers in Davao City but I’ll say it anyway.
Yes, Mayor Duterte, it is YOUR fault that Davao City remains in a state of feudalism because you have encouraged it, you revel in it, you love it and you cannot live without it.
The residents like you because you do almost everything for them. In return you expect and extract the utmost loyalty and obedience from them.
What you and Mayor Sara could do is to teach your constituents how to stand up on their own, how to assert their rights, how NOT to depend on the mayor alone for their womb to tomb needs.
What you could do is to hand-hold democracy, ok, even like a stern father.
Teach them in the end how to defy you when you are wrong. But in a nice way and with their own suggested solutions.
And when they do, you will know you have succeeded in teaching them democracy.
* * * *
Below is the background on the contested property that was the scene of Friday’s aborted eviction which was sent to me from a reader from Davao City who calls herself “sara duterte”:
Mayor halts support for Hall of Justice
By Jereco O. Paloma
Saturday, July 2, 2011
DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte is set to terminate all forms of support the City Government has been providing the Hall of Justice starting Sunday.
Duterte made this decision after Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 16 sheriff Abe Andres failed to grant the two-hour allowance the mayor was asking over the demolition in Barangay Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr., Soliman, Agdao District.
Judge Manuel Carpio of RTC branch 16 issued the demolition order.
Although refusing to elaborate the exact amount the City Government has been giving out as a support to the Hall of Justice, Duterte said this is a significant support.
Among the things the city is providing to the Hall of Justice are job order employees and gasoline allowances.
The demolition order dated June 23 was in relation to a contested property in Blocks 2 and 3 in Barangay Soliman, in Agdao, Davao City, owned by a Chinese businessman.
The demolition order has been superseded by an order to delineate or define the scope and area that is to be subjected to demolition
Tension broke out when the demolition team and residents clashed in a riot around 10:30 a.m.
Roughly 300 families are reportedly be affected by the demolition of their houses on the 3,143-square-meter land owned by one Philip Kho.
Duterte said she is neither on the side of the property owners nor the residents but she understands the sentiments of the affected families.
However, Minda Sayson, vice president of the United Settlers Association in Bangoy Creek (USABC), said they are ready to honor the court order but all they wanted was to know the scope of the area that will be demolished.
The City Government already set aside a 22-hectare relocation site in Los Amigos for the residents who will be displaced.
Duterte, however, said that for those who are not indigents, the City Government is ready to relocate them to a site in Tibungco for free.
Here’s a link to Caroline Howard’s article interviewing Mayor Duterte