Bishop lauds Mayor Duterte for “forcing the issue”

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/04 July) – Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo may find it unbecoming of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to throw punches at a court sheriff over a demolition incident, but a bishop said the mayor did the right thing in defying “judicial technicalities for a higher humanitarian purpose”.

“The controversy over Sara Duterte’s punching of a court sheriff in order to delay the actual demolition of homes of informal settlers in Davao’s Agdao district is a clear case where morality should be the larger consideration than legal ethics,” Bishop Felixberto Calang of Inpeace Mindanao said in a statement.

Calang said Duterte’s action which intended to delay the actual demolition was “a clear case where morality should be the larger consideration than legal ethics”.

“With Sara’s action, the brutality and in-humaneness of demolition orders— despite being cloaked in legality— has been brought to the social consciousness. Sara had pierced this judicial bubble which rich property claimants have enjoyed,” he added.

On Friday, an apparently incensed Duterte hit sheriff Abe Andres with a couple of punches for his refusal to delay for at least two hours the demolition at Purok Soliman in Barangay Tomas Monteverde Sr.

Prior to it, a police officer and three others persons had been injured after the demolition resulted in a scuffle when some residents offered resistance prompting the mayor to punch Andres who was trying to enforce the demolition order on informal settlers in a 2,000-square meter land.

She added no violence could have ensued had the sheriff heeded her request for a stay of the demolition.

Duterte has taken a 5-day leave of absence to give way to an investigation of the incident, although his father, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, had told her not to apologize and that he was proud of her. (MindaNews)