MANILA - Malacanang reminded local government officials of proper behavior when dealing with the public amid the slapping incident involving Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista.
In an interview with radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said: “Ang mababanggit lang po natin ‘yung paniniwala sa prinsipyo na may pananagutan ang mga lingkod-bayan hinggil sa kanilang mga kilos tungkol sa pagganap ng kanilang tungkulin at… paano sila nakikipag-ugnayan sa mga mamamayan.”
He noted, however, that it would be best to give Bautista the chance to explain himself.
“Hanggang sa ngayon din naman, ako po mismo hindi ko pa natutunghayan kung meron nang opisyal na pahayag si Mayor hinggil diyan. Ang sinasabi ko lang kahit sino naman ‘yang involved na ‘yan, meron din naman po tayong tinatawag na prinsipyo ng fairness, kailangan din namang bigyan ng pagkakataon na mailahad ‘yung panig ‘nung mayor o ni Mayor Herbert Bautista hinggil diyan,” he said.
Last week, Bautista slapped alleged drug dealer Xu Zhen Zhi on the face twice “to make him show respect for the law.”
Police had just seized 10 bags of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), worth about P15 million, from the suspect.
Bautista went to Philcoa to check on the situation. Police said Xu was being rude and acted as if he did not understand anything when Bautista was asking him questions.
Apparently annoyed, Bautista slapped the suspect twice.
“You cannot hear me? You cannot understand me?” Bautista asked.