Duterte nixes public opinion over assault on sheriff
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Sara Duterte said Saturday public opinion did not matter to her as what she did by assaulting a court sheriff was to prevent bloodshed during an attempt to demolish a warren of shanties in Davao’s Agdao district.
“Wala akong pakialam sa public opinon.” [I don’t care about public opinion],” she posted on her Facebook account.
The public was divided on the question of whether it was right for her to repeatedly punch court sheriff Abe Andres in the face during what was to have been a court-mandated order to clear out a piece of contested property in Barangay (village) Soliman. A policeman was wounded in the buttocks when an irate resident fired a sling dart during a commotion.
Tension subsided only when Duterte arrived.
She was fuming because the sheriff did not accede to her request to stay the demolition by two hours, to await the outcome of a judicial petition filed by the homeowner’s association’s lawyer in Cagayan de Oro City.
“In the coming days when I need to explain, I will explain only to the people of Davao City because I am their mayor,” Duterte wrote in her Facebook account.
A human rights regional official, officers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines took sides with Duterte by saying people should look at the situation from the humanitarian point of view.
Lawyers from the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) said that while acts of violence by local executives should not be condoned, people should look at the matter in a broader context.
“There was the much bigger violence faced by the informal sector whose houses were about to be demolished,” UPLM said.
Andres had not decided as of Saturday whether to press charges against Duterte.
A few hours after the Agdao incident, Judge Emmanuel Carpio issued an order staying the demolition for 10 days from Friday.
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