(Mayor) Duterte-Carpio, according to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan’s Sheena Duazo, seemed to have “a wrong concept of peace and order,” as she called the mayor’s apprehension “out-of-touch with the plight of the poor.”
By IRENE V. DAGUDOG
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – What used to be a battle between thousands of Pablo victims and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has turned into a word war between Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and leaders of progressive organizations.
This stems from Mayor Sara’s order to the Davao City Police Office to “disperse at all cost” the typhoon victims who staged a three-day camp out outside the DSWD regional office last week.
Juland Suazo, spokesperson of environmental group Panalipdan (Defend) Southern Mindanao called the mayor’s move “anti-poor” and “arrogant,” saying Pablo victims were only asking for “equitable relief services to survive from intense hunger in the countryside.”
But Duterte-Carpio reacted, saying she is now Suazo’s “nightmare” as she emphasized that what the typhoon victims did were a case of “mob rule” and “lawlessness” among others.
As the mayor threatened to ban any protest action “backed by militant groups,” activists under the umbrella organization Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said they have more reasons to engage with Duterte-Carpio.
“It’s a step backward from the democratic institutions forged in Davao through the years with the progressive left movement,” said Bayan spokesperson Sheena Duazo, in a press conference Monday.
Progressive organizations here have enjoyed holding peaceful assemblies, even without a permit, during the near twenty years when Sara’s father, Rodrigo Duterte, was mayor of the city.
Duterte-Carpio, according to Duazo, seemed to have “a wrong concept of peace and order,” as she called the mayor’s apprehension “out-of-touch with the plight of the poor.”
She reasoned that typhoon Pablo victims came to Davao City in the first place because this is where the regional office of the DSWD is located. And more than this, she added, the three-day camp out was “constitutionally guaranteed because the woes of the typhoon victims are legitimate.”
“Hunger is the very reason why the typhoon survivors came here. Hunger is violent, more unjust, more chaotic for a human being,” she said.
Bayan also feared that the ‘no permit, no rally’ policy of Duterte-Carpio will result to more violations of the people’s democratic rights.
“It’s a crying shame to the so-called democracy that the Edsa People Power had supposedly restored. It is a circumvention of the essence of the law on the civil and political rights of the people,” Duazo stressed.
Duazo said that the policy should only be required in private spaces and not in public places where peaceful assemblies like rallies are intended.
“If the mayor would implement a total ban of unpermitted rallies, for what then do we have freedom parks for? For what then are the monuments of heroes who shed blood for the Filipino’s freedom for? Aren’t they supposed to be there to remind us to be free?” said Duazo.
But Duterte-Carpio just brushed off Duazo and her organization saying “the right of freedom of speech and expression and to peaceably assemble and redress of grievances is not absolute.”
And as the militants vow to continue their protest actions should the ‘no permit, no rally’ policy being cooked by the mayor herself pushes, Duterte said, “Yes, ganahan ko makita sa publiko kung unsa klase ang ilang prinsipyo: mob rule, lawlessness and anarchy. (Yes, I’d like the public to see what principle they have: mob rule, lawlessness, and anarchy.) This way, the public will reject them more.”
This as she said that “the mob rule and lawlessness” advocacy of Bayan will not prosper in this city.
With the number of Pablo victims wounded, women and children included, during the scuffle with the police last week, victims that Bayan and other groups have supported since day one, Duterte-Carpio said, “Bayan deserves a hard B-slapping not an apology. In case wala sila kahibaw unsa ng B-slap — Bisaya slap na (In case they don’t know what B-slap is, it’s Bisaya slap,” Duterte told davaotoday.com in a text.
The mayor made a special mention on Bayan and both Duazo and Suazo as she announced Monday her maternity leave from March 5 to May 3.
“I will be back in May in my class A gamefowl form!” the mayor warned.
And from there, the public we’ll have to see, how this war will continue. (Irene V. Dagudog/davaotoday.com)