DAVAO CITY — The trade of barbs between PDP-Laban bet Rodrigo Duterte and Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II is not yet over.
Shortly after the first presidential debate on Sunday, February 21. Both sides dragged on anew their word war, with Roxas taking the first jab against the anti-drug campaign in Davao City, Duterte’s bailiwick.
“May droga sa Davao ngayon. Ngayon lang, gusto mo samahan kita e, makakabili tayo ng droga sa Davao e (There is drugs in Davao now. If you want, I can go with you and we can buy drugs in Davao),” Roxas said.
This was not the first time that Roxas questioned Davao City’s peace and order situation. Last year, the former Interior secretary claimed that based on statistics, peace in Davao is a “myth.”
Duterte reacted to Roxas’ recent statements and said that his opponent will not be able to “hack it” even after 20 years.
“He can never do it,” said Duterte. “Give him 20 years and still won’t be able to hack it.”
Duterte’s spokesperson, Peter Laviña, said that as someone who once headed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), “Mar’s knowledge and inaction of Davao illegal drugs makes him an accomplice and a protector of drug lords and their drug pushers.”
“Mar is showing he is not fit to be the leader of our country,” Laviña said in a statement on Tuesday, February 23.
Roxas earlier claimed that Davao’s crime incidents is the 4th highest in the Philippines.
However, the Davao City Police Office explained that the high volume of crimes recorded in the city last year was because the local police “was successful in doing its job.”
‘Roxas doesn’t deserve Malacañang, but jail’
Laviña said Roxas was trying to assail the reputation of Duterte and Davao City to make himself appear good.”He is painting others black so he will look white,” he said.
If indeed true, Laviña said Roxas should not strip himself of the responsibility to curb illegal drugs or stop criminality as the former secretary DILG.
“What has he done as Secretary of DILG and as chairman of the National Police Commission to fight drug abuse?” Laviña asked.
For having the knowledge but not acting on it, Laviña said Roxas deserves to “go to jail, not to Malacanang.”
Earlier this year, Duterte revealed of a purported drug raid in the city at a drug laboratory which he believes is an attempt to taint his image.
Before filing his certificate of candidacy for president last year, he also believed Roxas was behind the rumors that he has cancer.
Duterte, on the other hand, questioned Roxas’ Wharton graduate status.
The bickering between the two presidential candidates has been going on since last year, that Roxas’ running mate, Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo told both to move forward and talk about more important issues affecting the country. (davaotoday.com)