Duterte's peaceful Davao a myth, claims Roxas


Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas. Composite Image

MANILA - Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas on Friday debunked claims that Davao City, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's turf, is Philippines' safest city.

Speaking to members of the Galing Pook Foundation, Roxas said that contrary to what he calls media spin and propaganda, Davao City actually has the fourth highest crime rate nationwide.

READ: Duterte warns outlaws: 'I can eat your heart in front of you'

Roxas claimed that he does not adhere to summary justice, saying that his own governance will be anchored on rule of law and justice.

Tough-talking Duterte is the voters' top choice for president, based on a recent poll by Social Weather Stations. The Davao mayor is favored by 38 percent of voters, double of Roxas' 15 percent, according to the poll.

Roxas claimed that during his term as Interior and Local Government Secretary, police operations under "Oplan Lambat-Sibat," his brainchild, were able to reduce crime incidents in NCR from 918 per week to 300.

Roxas also claimed the program captured 700 of the 945 most wanted outlaws and emphasized that there should be no short cuts to crime fighting.

Meanwhile, Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson for the Roxas' campaign challenged Duterte to prove that he trumpeted peace and order in his city.

Gutierrez also criticized Duterte's admission of putting justice in his own hands, saying the mayor must prove that those he kills are hardened outlaws and not innocent parties.

"Matapang siya? Gusto niya talagang sabihin na, 'killer talaga ako? E di magbanggit siya ng mga detalye. Klaruhin natin kung sino iyang mga yan--kung totoo nga bang mga kriminal iyan tulad ng sinasabi mo o mga bata iyan, mga journalist gaya ng sinasabi ng ibang kritiko ni Mayor Duterte," Gutierrez said.

"Pero sa dulo, kung hindi siya willing na sabihin iyun, hindi siya willing na ibigay ang gayong detalye, nagbobolahan lang tayo."

Duterte, who is running for president under the PDP-Laban, has repeatedly admitted to actively participating in the execution of those tagged in drug trafficking and other heinous crimes.

The seven-term mayor also confirmed that there were cases of extra-judicial killings in Davao, especially during the martial law period, when there was a "war" between the government and the New People's Army (NPA).

READ: Duterte confirms killing 3 rapist-kidnappers

The Human Rights Watch earlier denounced the allegedly Duterte-led Davao Death Squad (DDS) that has committed ove1,000 killings since the late 1990s.

Amnesty International (AI) Philippines has likewise said it is "bothered" by the presidential candidacy of Duterte.

-- With reports from Ruby Tayag, radio dzMM; Jay Dayupay ABS-CBN News