Where’s Baste? Netizens complain of mayor’s silence on city’s peace and order

Jun. 23, 2023
Davao City Mayor Sebastian ‘Baste’ Duterte (davaotoday.com file photo)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davaoeños have been used to seeing a Duterte take action on the city’s peace and order situation.  

But this time Davaoeños noticed the seeming silence of Mayor Sebastian ‘Baste’ Duterte, the youngest son of former President Rodrigo, over the recent incidents of crimes in the city including the kidnapping-rape-slay of an architect and a lawyer’s vehicle being bombed.  

When Davao netizens found out that the younger Duterte seems to find time to interact with a local social media influencer over a kissing joke, this fueled more dismay.

Social media influencer Rowell Divina, posted last June 11 a screenshot of his online exchange with what is believed to be the mayor’s official Facebook account where he taunted the mayor to engage in “chula”, a local lingo for kissing, and the younger Duterte was able to join in the joke.

The post has gathered 645 comments, over thirty thousand laughing emoji reactions and more than three thousand shares, ranging from laughs to criticisms.

One comment from Vinz Pasayon typifies the usual support from Duterte followers: “Bilib gyud ko ani nila ba Duterte family dili kj (killjoy) maki salamuha gihapon sa mga tao nga naa sa baba bisan paman naa sila sa taas estado sa ilang kinabuhi naa sa taas nga posisyon down to earth ra kaayo. (I admire the Duterte family, they are not killjoys, they will still banter with people of lower stature even if they are in such high positions, they are down to earth).” said Pasayon.

But other netizens expressed disgust.  “Banha kaayo basta pag abot sa kabuang unya hilom kaayo pag abot sa issues sa Wabad (3) (He is noisy when it comes to foolishness, but he’s silent when it comes to issues in (Davao)” another netizen said.

One netizen reposted Divina’s post and said, “Mayor, hilabti pud ang Calinan. sa mana ui, chula pa. Na bash na hinoon ka (Mayor, please look into what’s happening in Calinan.  Why are you reacting to this chula thing, now you are getting bashed).”

The netizen was referring to the the rape-slay case of architect Vlanche Bragas, which happened in Calinan on May 17, and public opinion remains skeptical on the way the police has handled the case.

Outside social media, Davaoeños shared the same sentiments about the Mayor Baste’s absence, as they noted that robbery is on the rise in this city touted as peaceful because of the Duterte brand of anti-crime politics. The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) has warned the public to refrain from making such claims online as they have not monitored an increase in crimes.

A tricycle driver, Celso Andil, age 33, plying the Uyanguren Street area said he once expected the younger Duterte to be like his father, but observed “the mayor is absent in so many important issues of the city.”

“Dugay na man gyud ko aning Davao pero karon ra gyud ning wala gyud koy nadunggan ani atong mayor, apektado sab baya mi ani, (I’ve been living in Davao for quite some time, but it is just now that I haven’t heard anything from the mayor, we are affected by this issue) ” said Andil.

Andil said that since the rape-slay incident happened, he rarely gets passengers at night as many opt to ride a taxi for their safety.

Duterte supporter Marki Habino, 47, still clings to the the thought that Mayor Baste will rise to the occasion to assure the people.

“Kinahanglan gyud sya mutingog kay kabalo man ta basta ang mga Duterte na gani ang mutingog naa man gyud nay power, dili baya batasan sa mga Duterte nang musugot ra binuangan ang syudad, (He should speak up, because we know if the Dutertes speak up, there is power. The Dutertes have never allowed people to mess up in this city)” he said.

Baste Duterte was once openly challenged by his father in a speech during the 2022 election miting de avance to “learn to kill if you want to be mayor”.  

READ: Duterte tells son Baste: learn to kill if you want to be mayor

Baste first gained popularity in 2016 during his father’s presidential campaign, and dabbled in the entertainment industry before running for vice mayor in 2019.

In a recent survey by the University of Mindanao Institute of Public Opinion (IPO) on November 23 to December 5 in 2022, Mayor Baste Duterte’s public trust rating declined to 41.4 percent, a 18 percent drop compared to his 59.6 percent net trust rating at the start of his administration six months prior in June.  Those who signify having no trust in his leadership also rose to 12.2 percent from 8.3 percent in that survey. (davaotoday.com)

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