MANILA, Philippines - Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista apologized yesterday for slapping a Chinese man who was caught with 10 kilos of illegal drugs on Friday.
In a TV interview, the mayor apologized to Commission on Human Rights chairperson Etta Rosales over the incident.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am Etta, I am not that kind of person. I don’t hurt (people),” Bautista said in Filipino.
“I’d like to apologize because that’s not who I am, that is not my character,” he added.
On Friday, the mayor was seen on video slapping suspect Zhen Xu, 30, twice following a drug bust in Philcoa.
The suspect was caught carrying 10 kilos of shabu, with a street value of P15 million.
Prior to the slapping incident, Bautista was seen standing outside the driver’s seat of the vehicle where the suspect was seated. While he was talking to the media, Zhen stuck his head out of the window and posed beside Bautista.
Apparently flustered, the mayor managed to smile and high-five the suspect. He admitted, however, that he felt scared as the suspect could have choked him.
Moments later, Bautista tried questioning Zhen, who motioned to his ear as if he could not understand the mayor. It was at this point that the mayor slapped the drug suspect. Another clip showed him slapping the suspect a second time.
Bautista said yesterday he slapped the suspect as he was not able to control himself – he realized that the suspect seemed to have no respect for authorities and the laws of the land.