MANILA, Philippines – The voting public was treated to a live showdown between presidential candidates Rodrigo Duterte and Manuel "Mar" Roxas II during the second presidential debate held in Cebu City on Sunday, March 20.
"This administration allowed shabu to be cooked inside the national penitentiary. Ikaw yung chief of police, wala kang ginawa. And you are claiming credit that is not yours. Ang mahirap sa iyo Mar you are always a pretentious leader," said Duterte.
(This administration allowed shabu to be cooked inside the national penitentiary. You are the chief of police, you did nothing. And you are claiming credit that is not yours. The problem with you Mar is you are always pretentious leader.)
He said this in reply to Roxas who claimed that the Philippine National Police, (PNP), under his direction as former interior secretary, was able to confiscate P7.5 billion worth of drugs nationwide.
"Yes, inaresto mo pero anong ginawa ninyo? (Yes, you arrested them but what did you do?)" Duterte asked before saying shabu was being cooked inside the Bilibid prison.
Back to the 'Wharton' issue
But Roxas did not take the "pretentious" tag lightly.
He said that far from being pretentious, the DILG and PNP have addressed the drugs issue as proven by the value of their confiscations, and the arrests made.
Roxas said: "Ang totoo ay nahuli na eh, nahuli yan eh at patuloy ang ating laban sa droga. Hindi yan pagiging pretentious. Nangyari 'yan, nasa diyaryo 'yan."
(The truth is they were arrested and our fight against drugs continues. That's not being pretentious. It happened, it's in the newspapers.)
Duterte didn't let that pass and quipped: "Hindi diyaryo 'yun, tabloid 'yun. (That wasn't a newspaper, that was a tabloid.)"
"You're a fraud, you’re pretentious. Pati edukasyon sinali mo yung Wharton hindi ka naman taga- Wharton (Even your education, you included Wharton when you are not from Wharton)," said Duterte.
"Hindi ko problema na hindi naunawaan ni Mayor Duterte ang pagka-graduate sa Wharton. Malinaw na malinaw, Wharton nagsabi na graduate ako doon sa kanila," said Roxas.
(It's not my problem if Mayor Duterte does not understand what it means to graduate from Wharton. It's very clear, Wharton says I graduated from their school.)
Duterte's 'brand of justice'
He then hit Duterte for his brand of justice:
"'Yan ang brand ng Duterte justice, kung ano ang naisip niya kahit hindi totoo, 'yan ang kanyang paniniwalaan." (That's the brand of Duterte justice, whatever comes to his head even if it's not true, that's what he believes in.)
The clash happened during the first round of the debate when Duterte was asked by a journalist in the panel to lay out his plan to suppress crime in 3 to 6 months.
Duterte said he would replicate in the entire Philippines his accomplishment in Davao City, now known as one of the most liveable places to live in the country.
"I’ll do it. I will do it just like what I did to Davao," he said.
Roxas rebutted Duterte by saying he did not really lay out a plan, adding that 30 to 40 villages in Davao City are still drug-infested, according to government statistics.
Duterte did not refute the statistic, saying cities all over the country have "porous" borders. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.