Business sector to Mayor Duterte: “Don’t take a leave; we’re behind you”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 July) —  The chair of the Mindanao Business Council (MinBC) has appealed to Mayor Sara Duterte not to take a leave of absence as he expressed the businesss sector’s “full support” to the mayor who will be investigated this week for punching on Friday morning a court sheriff who allegedly defied her request for a two-hour delay in the demolition of shanties of informal settlers in Purok Soliman, Barangay Tomas Monteverde Sr..

MinBC chair Vicente Lao blamed Sheriff Abe Andres for the riot that ensued when he went ahead and enforced the court order. A police officer and three other persons were injured .

“The sheriff claims he is implementing justice. But you have to temper justice with compassion and that was what the mayor did. She tried to prevent a riot,” Lao told MindaNews.

“What is two hours if you can avert violence?” Lao said.

“The fact that the mayor was not stopping the demolition but was only requesting for a two-hour reprieve should have been considered. Because of his refusal, we had a riot in our hands with injuries on both sides. Had he agreed to the two-hour delay, the demolition should have gone on without incident.”

He said he salutes Duterte for her “highest sense of decency and professionalism to take a leave but we need her on the helm. We hope the mayor will accept our support and not take a leave.”

“You can’t change captain in the middle of a storm,” Lao said, referring to the series of disasters that struck the city on Tuesday – a major vehicular accident Tuesday afternoon and from late Tuesday evening to Wednesday dawn, flashfloods that killed 30 persons, most of them children.

“In these hours of crisis, we badly need her leadership,” he said.

Duterte’s punching the sheriff in full view of residents and reporters drew praises as well as criticisms in various social networking sites. (MindaNews)