FULL TEXT | Letter of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to Mega Harbour

Aug. 03, 2017

*Mayor Sara Duterte’s reply to Mega Harbour Port Development Inc. in response to its letter dated July 27, 2017. A copy of the letter was sent to Davao Today on Aug. 3, 2017


I do not wish to belabor with you on the merits and bases of the joint venture agreement. We can save that argument for the right time and the proper venue.

Contrary to your claim, you were given notice when my letter informing you of my decision was received by your office. This fact was duly acknowledged in your letter dated July 27, 2017.

A careful review of my actions betrays your accusation that I have put your company in a “bad light” and “tarnished even blackened beyond repair your reputation.” Nothing in my statement could also reflect that I subjected you to “immeasurable humiliation or ridiculed men and women from your company.” As local chief executive, I have the obligation to inform the public of my decision after a year of telling them that I will review the project documents. The fulfillment of my obligation is not publicity, it is accountability.

Let me remind you, that sometime 2011, I was the Mayor when your officers first presented this project to the City Government of Davao. I was the person who sat on the chair across your people who explained the project.

This time, I am again the Mayor and I have no obligation to repeatedly sit down and listen to you. My option was to review all the documents that you have submitted to the City Government. I thoroughly read all the materials and minutes of meetings, including your presentation to the NEDA Regional Infrastructure Development Committee. It took me a year to articulate my decision because I had to diligently go through all your documents. I also had to hire consultants who independently assessed and vetted the project.

These bare the truth of my direct involvement in the process — even more than your definition of what a direct involvement is, which is to simply sit down with you, look at your glossy presentations, and listen to your briefings.

I purposely did not disclose what information significantly formed part of my decision to terminate the agreement because I expected a legal case from your end.

What I did not expect from you is to call me out as a reckless, callous and unethical individual. You should be the last person to speak about ethics if you write letters such as the one I received.

Finally, it is utterly fiddling of you to threaten me with a legal suit should I continue to fulfill my obligation to explain to the public why I terminated the agreement. And you certainly do not have the right to tell me how and when I should do my job.

I demand an apology.

Sara Z. Duterte
Davao City

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