DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 December) – “It’s not for you to say that. It is for Dabawenyos to tell us what it is all about,” Presidential aspirant and Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte said in his message to administration bet Manuel Araneta “Mar” Roxas who earlier described the city’s peace and order situation as a “myth.”
What is “myth,” he said is Roxas’ claim that he graduated from Wharton School of Economics, Duterte said in his Sunday television program, “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa.”
In a Presidential Forum at the Ateneo de Manila University on Friday, Roxas described Davao City’s peace as “myth, kathang-isip, imagination.”
Citing data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) which he headed as Local Governments Secretary from late 2012 until his resignation in August 2015, Roxas said some 18,000 crime incidents were recorded in Davao City in 2014.
“So myth, kathang isip, imagination lang ‘yung payapa ang Davao City. Hindi ko sila dina-down, sinasabi ko lang kung ano ang istatistika,” GMA News Online quoted Roxas as saying.
“Like all things in life, there is no magic wand, there is no abracadabra, everything that is worth something important to us, kailangang pagtrabahuhan, pagsakripisyuhan, tutukan natin” (we should work hard for, sacrifice for, and focus on), Roxas said.
Addressing Roxas, Duterte said: “It is not for you to say that. It is for Dabawenyos to tell us what it is all about.”
Duterte said Roxas as DILG Secretary, had administrative authority over the police and received regular reports regarding the crime index of all cities in the country.
“Akala ko ba ikaw ang (I thought you were) DILG (secretary). All orders and submission (go to DILG). I don’t even have a copy of the blotter everyday or the journal, ikaw ang may hawak ng police (you have authority over the police),” he said, adding “it’s either binola ka ng police mo (you were fooled by the police) or you were treated as trash by the police).
He dared Roxas to have a survey taken in Camp Crame, the PNP’s main headquarters. “Kung manalo ka mag-withdraw ako tapos kakampanyahan kita (If you win, I will withdraw my candidacy and campaign for you),” he said.
The crime index in the Davao Region went down by 28.38 percent with 13,476 incidents recorded between January and August this year, compared with last year’s 18,936 for the same period.
Records from the Police Regional Office (PNP) showed that physical injuries with 6,562 cases comprised the biggest share of the total crime index at 48.69 percent, lower than last year’s 8,606 for the same period.
At the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting at the Grand Men Seng Hotel held last October, Senior Supt. Michael John Dubria, chief of Regional Operations and Plans Division of PRO 11, said the decrease can be attributed to the intensified implementation of its anti-criminality plan, “Lambat-Sibat.”
“Physical injury cases are mostly caused by vehicular accidents and a few cases are due to street fistfights, mauling and stabbing,” he said.
For theft and robbery, cases registered from January to August 2015 were 4,252, down by38.89 percent from 6,328 for the same period in 2014.
Records also show that crime solution and crime clearance efficiencies have improved.
The region’s crime solution efficiency improved by 65.91 percent while the crime clearance efficiency was at 73.057 percent.
Duterte blamed Roxas for starting this exchange of words through his publicist, by allegedly spreading the issue that he was suffering from cancer and that this was the reason why he did not want to join the presidential race in 2016.
At the Presidential Forum, Roxas disagreed on the kind of leadership displayed by Duterte, apparently referring to the latter’s hardline stance against criminality and his fearless admission in public forums and interviews that he has killed criminals.
He said there’s “no magic wand” in bringing down the crime index and that all work must be done right.
In his Sunday television program, Duterte also criticized Roxas for his inability to handle stress in the aftermath of supertyphoon Yolanda in November 2013. Duterte flew to Tacloban City on Day 2 to bring initial help from the city and to find out how best the city can help. Duterte immediately sent teams to deliver relief goods and help in the rescue and retrieval as well as attend to the health needs of the survivors.
Duterte also challenged Roxas to come out with his graduation picture as proof that he finished a degree at Wharton School of Economics.
“You claim to have graduated from Wharton School of Economics, that’s a myth. Wala dun sa listahan na ikaw naka-kumpleto. Maybe, three-month course or correspondence. Show me a picture na nagsuot ka ng toga, na nandun yung nanay mo (Your name is not on the list that you graduated. Maybe, three-month course or correspondence. Show me a picture of you wearing a toga with your mom),” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)