Duterte made the commitment at the 6th anniversary rites of the airport bombing at the scene of the incident at the old Davao airport Wednesday.
Duterte and the relatives of the victims lit white candles and offered white roses and baby’s breath.
Relatives came for the sixth anniversary rites to light candles and offer flowers. Keith Bacongco/AKP Images
Twenty-two persons were killed and 135 others were injured when a bomb exploded at the waiting shed where relatives of arriving passengers and porters, waited, shortly before 6 p.m. that day.
The city has provided livelihood assistance as well as scholarships for the children or siblings of the breadwinners who died or were badly injured in the blast, in the elementary, high school and college.
“My solemn contract is I will help your children, I will see you through college,” Duterte addressed the relatives of the victims of both the airport and seaport bombings, adding “maybe the next mayor will see things with compassion.”
In 2003, the City Social Services Development Office records showed there were 110 relatives who availed of the scholarship of P4,000 a year for elementary, P7,000 for high school and P20,000 for college students.
The scholarship fund then was taken out from the peace and order fund of the mayor.
Duterte’s third term as mayor ends on June 30 next year. Duterte was mayor from 1988 to 1998, congressman of the 1st district from 1998 to 2001 and mayor from 2001.
Duterte said that when a citizen dies needlessly, “we are responsible” because it is his duty, the police director’s and the Task Force Davao chief’s, “to protect everybody.”
“Any killing is always a reflection of government, that you fail to protect citizens of the city,” he said.
Among those who attended the anniversary rites was Erlinda Alcaria whose husband Miguel, a porter, was among those killed. With Erlinda was daughter Melanie who is now in second year high school. Her other daughter, Mylene, is in senior high school. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)