MANILA, Philippines - Acting Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has banned the carrying of assault rifles during demolition activities.
“No policeman from now on will bring an M-16 rifle to a demolition activity. Bawal na. What for, those are lethal weapons with high caliber?" Duterte said on ANC's "The Rundown."
On Friday last week, the demolition team was seen brandishing assault rifles in the midst of demolition efforts in the city's Agdao district.
The demolition order prompted Duterte's daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte to repeatedly punch Court Sheriff Abe Andres. She had asked the sheriff to postpone serving the demolition by 2 hours.
The older Duterte will temporarily sit as mayor until July 11. His daughter went on leave on Monday to pave the way for an investigation by the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Duterte said it was necessary for her daughter to speak to the residents before the punching incident.
He said there have been no violent demolitions in his 18 years as mayor. He added protocol dictates notices from the demolition team, as assembled by the owner of the disputed property.
Nonetheless, the regard given to mayors is a manifestation that the feudal system prevails to this day because of the country's poverty situation.
"Dito hindi naniniwala ng giyera, police, huwes, but ang mayor... this society remains feudal, [it] depends on the local government,” he said.
"You may elect a son of a bitch, but he remains the choice of the people. Mayor yan e, pili ng tao. Is it our fault we are in a state of feudalism until now? For as long as people depend on the dispensing authority, [it’s because] we remain in poverty,” he added.
Peace and order
Defending his daughter's actions, Duterte said she had every right to step into the demolition row, which by then had turned into a peace and order situation.
He added the court sheriff was at fault for not heeding the mayor's appeal for a two-hour suspension of the demolition order.
“There is no such thing as a writ of demolition at the expense of lives. There is no mandate, however majestic it is, na ‘Sheriff, go ahead, demolish whatever the cost, even if you kill using government people, or the police,’" Duterte said.
"That there is judicial writ of demolition issued by Judge Carpio is correct. That the sheriff was ordered to place in possession of the partied interest, the owner is also correct. That the mayor or any other person should not intervene or interrupt in the ejection activity is admitted. [What] is the problem?” he asked.
He stressed his daughter had a lot on her plate at that time since she was attending to the victims of flood on the south side of the city.
“Then here comes the call from the city planning officer and people from the housing authority telling the mayor that trouble was brewing. The people were irate against the policeman and the demolition team, and so mayor told the sheriff to stop or at least to interrupt the demolition for two hours, to
allow her to talk to the people,” he stressed.
In the end, the order was disregarded by the sheriff, he added.
“When there is a peace and order problem, the mayor has every right to intervene not because she wanted to stop the demolition but to avoid bloodshed. When she was informed na tuloy yung demolition, she lost her temper," Duterte explained.
Duterte said his daughter is ready to face whatever the higher authorities decide, adding issuing an apology is farthest from her options.
“She is not ready to apologize, is not offering any apology, no nothing. You want blood? We will give it to you. She doesn't need the title of being a lawyer. She can win the elections next time around. Go ahead, you can do the worst. She said she is willing to receive the orders,” he added.
“Ang sabi ko sa kanya maghintay ka na lang. Ilan buwan nalang eleksyon na, tumakbo ka ulit. Tapos ang istorya. Tapos kung ginawa ulit ng sheriff, upakan mo ulit,” he added.
“My daughter is ready to accept the verdict even tomorrow, so what's all the yakking about,” he added.
“I can't criticize my daughter because I would do it myself,” he noted.
In the past, he opted to resign as a solon when his daughter figured in an argument with a security guard.
He also did not apologize for burning a Singaporean flag following OFW Flor Contemplacion's execution. Then-President Fidel V. Ramos even asked him to write a letter of apology.
On Monday, Vice-Mayor Duterte flashed the dirty finger and cussed at his daughter's critics following her widely-publicized assault on court Andres.
He laments how the media has zeroed in on the slapping-incident, now about the people who were injured in the scuffle.
"This is about governance but there was an excessive display of behavior, she (Sara) admitted she's ready to resign, she's ready to be disbarred so what's the problem? Who's crying for blood, you'd be happy about it. There's already the offer,” he said.
Asked by netizens what he would he do if the situations were reversed and he and his daughter were assaulted, the Vice Mayor said: "Barilin kita. Bakit mo ako susuntukin, ako nga yung peacemaker, para walang gulo e. To prevent bloodshed, I'll shoot you.”
Nonetheless, Duterte said he would not get in the way of justice.
He also stressed he will protect the sheriff’s well-being, despite of what happened. Andres has allegedly been receiving threats to his life.
“I will commit to protect the Sheriff with my life. And if anything happens to him, I will die with him…When it comes to the dispensation of Justice, I will not stand in anybody's way,” he said.