Roxas dares Duterte: Suntukan na lang tayo

Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - After challenging presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to a slapping match, administration standard bearer Mar Roxas is now daring Duterte to a fistfight.

"Talk, talk, talk, yan na lang ang ginagawa mo, Digong, eh, daldal nang daldal. 157 P. Tuazon, Cubao, Quezon City. Aantayin kita," Roxas said, addressing Duterte, in an interview with reporters Tuesday.

Roxas on Monday challenged the mayor to slap him if he can prove that he (Roxas) did not graduate from Wharton School of Economics at University of Pennsylvania.

However, Roxas also said he would slap his fellow presidential aspirant once he establishes that he is an alumnus of the prestigious US school.

READ: Mar tells Duterte: 'Slap me if I'm not a Wharton grad' 

"Kung hindi totoo ang Wharton degree ko, sampalin mo ko, hindi ako iilag. Pero kung totoo ang Wharton degree ko, sasampalin kita,," Roxas told Duterte yesterday.

Roxas' challenge came after Duterte claimed that his Wharton degree is the real "myth," a swipe at the Liberal Party (LP) candidate's claim that Davao's peaceful image is only a "myth."

READ: Duterte twits Mar over peace 'myth' 

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Roxas said he does not care if his fellow presidential aspirant does not believe him.

"Hindi ko problema na ayaw maniwala ni Digong," said Roxas." Ayaw niya maniwala, eh di huwag."

'GALIT AKO SA BULLY'

Roxas, however, said it is time to stand up against a bully, referring to the PDP-Laban candidate. He is ready to face Duterte, he added, even saying that he will advise the mayor the next time he makes a visit to Davao City.

"Itong tigas-tigasan, itong siga-siga, bumenta na yan eh, gasgas na yan. Ako, galit ako sa bully. Galit ako sa mga nagsasamantala. Galit ako sa mga naghahari-hari. Galit ako sa mga mabibigat ang kamay. Galit ako sa mga tao na akala nila sila lang ang kapangyarihan dito sa bansa natin.

"Kaya kung hindi ka pa nakaharap ng iyong katapat, Digong, nandito ako, hindi kita aatrasan. Ako ay para sa rule of law. Ako ay para sa kaunlaran ng ating bansa. Ako ay para sa progreso ng ating bansa. Lahat itong mga sinasabi mong sampalan, anong kinalaman niyan sa buhay ng isangdaang milyong Pilipino, sa kung ano ang kahihinatnan ng ating bansa?" he said.

"Sa dami ng problema na hinaharap ng ating bansa, ikaw, nauuwi ka sa kung anu-anong mga kalokohan. Gawin mo na lang kung ano gusto mong gawin. Di ba? Sampalan? Bakit pa sampalan? Pambabae yan. Suntukan na lang. Diba?" he added.

Roxas admitted that he is also disappointed with himself for even paying attention to Duterte's comments. He, however, insisted that someone has to rise up against a "bully."

"Sa dami ng problema ng ating bansa, pinapangarap ni Mayor Digong na nais niya maging lider ng ating bansa, pero ang problema niya ay kung saan ako nag-graduate. And by the way, ang eskwelahan na mismo ang nagsabi na graduate ako doon," he said.

"Siguro hindi ako nakapagpigil at ako rin mismo parang nadidismaya ako sa sarili ko na na-distract ako. Tayo po ay tumatakbo sa pagka-pangulo dahil nais natin iahon ang ating bansa, dahil itong mga bully, itong mga nagsasamantala, itong mga humahadlang sa kaginhawaan ng ating mga kababayan, sila ang dapat na labanan. At talagang lalabanan natin sila," he added.

Roxas maintained that he was not the one who initiated the "slapping match" since Duterte last week said he would slap the LP standard bearer if they see each other during the campaign period.

ISSUES VS DUTERTE, MAYOR REACTS

Roxas also went on to bring up the mayor's cursing of Pope Francis and his supposed admission of his ties with the Davao Death Squad.

"Sino ba nagmura kay Pope? Sino ba ang nagmayabang tungkol sa death squad? Sino ba ang nanghamon ng sampalan?" Roxas said.

READ: Duterte: It was never my intention to disrespect Pope Francis 

READ: Duterte backtracks on death squad 'admission'

Roxas also again denied involvement in the alleged black propaganda against Duterte. The Davao City mayor earlier accused the camp of Roxas of spreading rumors that he has cancer.

"Magpa-lie detector [kami]," Roxas said. "O, hindi naman niya tatanggapin, sasabihin niya hindi admissible in court."

"Malinis ang konsensya ko na wala akong kinalaman sa kung anu-anong mga black propaganda na sinasabi niya."

Duterte, for his part, said he will only accept Roxas' fistfight challenge if he is able to prove that he is a Wharton graduate.

Duterte called Roxas a congenital liar, saying the LP candidate has gone ballistic because he has been found lying about his Wharton stint.

The mayor also advised Roxas to just take a cold shower and get a massage. -- Reports from Jay Ruiz and Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News