Roxas to Duterte: Stop ‘fooling’ voters, give details of anti-crime plan

Bea Cupin
Roxas to Duterte: Stop ‘fooling’ voters, give details of anti-crime plan
Campaigning in Northern Mindanao, the administration standard-bearer goes on the offensive against survey front runner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – While campaigning in a Mindanao region whose preferred candidate is the sole Mindanaoan in the presidential race, Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II dared Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to “explain” his central campaign promise to “stop” crime in the country within 6 months.

Itong mga datos, itong katotohanan, itong mga istatistika na ipinakita ko sa inyo noong isang araw at pinakita ko rin sa kanya, ang kanyang sagot: pang-iinsulto, pagmumura, at pagbabago ng usapin para malingid, para malito ang ating mga kababayan,” said Roxas in a press conference in Alubijid town, Misamis Oriental on Wednesday, April 13.

(The data, the truth, the statistics I showed you yesterday, are the same ones I showed him. His response? Insults, curse words, changing the topic so our countrymen are distracted.)

During an earlier press conference on April 12 in neighboring Misamis Occidential, Roxas narrated data culled from the Philippine National Police (PNP), which painted a Davao far from the “crime-free” city it’s painted to be. Roxas narrated the same stats on Wednesday.

“The number of murder cases in Davao City from 2010 to 2015, 1,032. In the entire country, Davao is number one when it comes to murder. The number of rape cases in Davao City from 2010 to 2015, 843. That means Davao is second in terms of rape incidents in the country. The number of homicide cases in Davao, 245. They’re 3rd in the country,” said Roxas in a mix of English and Filipino.

He added: “Si Duterte, chairman, peace and order council ng Davao City at ng Davao Region. Kaya itong resulta na ito ay resulta ng kanyang pamumuno bilang peace and order chairman ng Davao City at Davao Region. Kaya papaano niya iiwasan, papaano niya ipapaliwanag ang mga plano niya sa buong bansa, eh hindi nga niya magawa ito sa Davao City sa loob ng dalawampung taon ng kanyang pamumuno?

(Duterte was chairman of the peace and order council of Davao City and Davao Region. So these statistics are a result of his leadership as peace and order chairman of Davao City and the region. So how can he explain his plan for the entire country when he couldn’t even do this in Davao even after 22 years of being mayor?)

Duterte has thus far not given specifics when asked about his promise to “stopping” crime in 3-6 months. His running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has said that “political will” would be key. 

He has since then clarified his statements, now saying that he promises to “suppress” crime not completely stop it. (READ: Duterte’s anti-crime promise: ‘Suppress’ or stop crime?)

Roxas was flanked by local allies during the press conference, including municipal mayor Alvin Labis and vice mayor Emmanuel Hamis, both members of the ruling party.

Even if local officials are his allies, the region which Alubijid town belongs to is predominantly for Duterte. According to the latest Standard Poll conducted by Laylo Research Strategies, 43% of those polled from Northern Mindanao support the Davao mayor.

Roxas trailed with 23%, followed by Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay, with 20% and 11% respectively.

Northern Mindanao isn’t the only place where Duterte leads. According to the latest polls, Duterte is now the front runner in the 5-way presidential race.

But there was no holding back for Roxas, who went on to criticize the mayor for his “ampaw (empty)” promises, for his policy on China, and for his choice of words against political rivals.

Patuloy ang pambabastos mo, pagmumura mo sa iba’t ibang hanay ng ating lipunan, kasama na ang mga kababaihan, ang mga LGBT, at ang iyong mga katunggali. Wala kang respeto kahit kanino. Kinikilala mo lang ‘yung iyong makitid at limitadong pananaw,” said Roxas.

(You continue to disrespect people in your words, including women, the LGBT, and your rivals. You’ve no respect for anyone. You only respect you own narrow and limited view). 

In one of their more recent verbal spats, Duterte called Roxas “bayot” after the latter questioned his capability to end crime. “Bayot” in Bisaya means gay, but it can also be used as a derogatory term. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.