Duterte scorns Roxas: '...bakit huli ka sa ratings?'
"Kung totoo talaga ang sinasabi mo at naniniwala ang Pilipino sa iyo at dapat ikaw ang presidente, bakit huli ka sa ratings?"
With these words, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte belittled the chances of ex-DILG Secretary and Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas of winning the May 9 presidential election.
It was the harshest words yet leveled by Duterte, the presidential front runner, against Roxas, the anointed successor of President Aquino. The statement came after an ABS-CBN survey conducted by Pulse Asia showed Duterte enjoying a 12-percentage point lead in the presidential race, over Senator Grace Poe.
READ: Duterte boosts lead in new ABS-CBN survey
The word war between the two ignited after Duterte questioned Roxas' claim that PhilHealth is helping people in Davao City.
The mayor denied that Davao hospitals are getting help from PhilHealth, saying that he applied for such help two years ago but did not receive a response.
Roxas, however, said Duterte's statement was clearly a figment of his imagination, and added he will gladly give a list of Dabawenyos who have received aid from PhilHealth and the government.
This ticked off the mayor, who said he does not believe Roxas.
"I do not believe you. You have made so many promises and your term in the government, lahat halos wala kayong naibigay sa tao. Puro kayo daldal, puro announcement, puro lahat. Wala implementation. It is all corruption," he said.
Roxas then challenged the mayor to withdraw from the race if he (Roxas) can prove that PhilHealth has helped thousands of Dabawenyos.
"Mayor Duterte, I dare you, kung may mapakita akong tao, pangalan, ospital na talagang natulungan sa Davao City, ikaw ba ay aatras?" he asked.
Duterte then nodded in agreement.
Roxas added: "Ang problema dito, kung hindi mo pumasok at hindi mo paniwalaan ang aktwal na facts na datos, ay babalewalain mo. Ito ang katotohanan. So dun tayo sa katotohanan. Huwag nating lokohin ang ating mga kababayan [at sabihin na] walang nangyayari. Ang katotohanan ang basehan ng kahit anong pamumuno. Ang katotohanan ang basehan ng tiwala sa isa't isa."
Duterte then said there is a nationwide problem, and that even Davao City has been misled.
He asked the audience: "The people of the Philippines is listening: is this guy telling the truth?"
The audience then roared different reactions.
Roxas pointed out that this is Duterte's style: changing the subject every time he is presented with facts.
"Ito na naman. Ito yung style ni Mayor Duterte. Sa mga kabataan, huwag nating tularan ito," he said.
"Mayor Duterte, may sasabihin, tapos, pag pakitaan siya ng facts, aatras, magsasabi ng iba. Ito ang hamon ko, simpleng simple. Sinabi mo ito, sinabi ko. May ipapakita ako na aktwal, naka-video na mga tao na natulungan ng PhilHealth sa Davao City. Libo-libo po yan. Sinabi niya aatras siya. Tignan natin kung tutuparin niya ang sinabi niya," he added.
Duterte said the Filipino people are always listening to the government, including Roxas.
He then said: "Kung totoo talaga ang sinasabi mo at naniniwala ang Pilipino sa iyo at dapat ikaw ang presidente, bakit sa huli ka sa ratings?"
Roxas said the public could clearly see Duterte's attitude in the debate. "Hindi ka karapat-dapat. Kaya sa Mayo 9, ang mananalo ang matuwid. Ang mananalo ang disente. Ang mananalo ang karapat-dapat, walang iba kundi si Mar Roxas."
Duterte then retorted: "Susmaryosep."