BY ROGER M. BALANZA
VIEW THE VIDEO.
Mayor Sara Duterte said she dished out this advice to government probers investigating her on the mauling last week of a court sheriff implementing a court-ordered- demolition of a row of urban poor shanties in Agdao district.
Duterte flared up when the sheriff , Aby Andres, refused to heed her order to stop the demolition as the squatters engaged demolition crews and their police escorts in a bloody confrontation.
Doing a Manny Pacquiao, Duterte delivered five mean punches to the face of Andres, who ended by with black-eye.
The mayoral assault was captured on video by local television news crews.
Uploaded on Facebook and Twitter, the scene became an instant taking more than 200,000 hits a few hours after it was posted on facebook.t.
I told the DILG investigating team to see the video , said Duterte, who has filed a five-day leave to allow the team to conduct the probe smoothly. She said she told the team the video would help more than her oral testimony, her reccolection of the incident being vague.
This developed as the team sent by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to probe the assault arrived in the city Monday.
Duterte refused to give details of her meeting with the DILG team, although she has this to share to the people: “Kung masuko, magpalayo. Mao nang akong lesson learned (If you’re angry, stay away from the subject of your anger. That’s the lesson I learned).”
Lawyers Romeo Benitez and Christopher Tiu of the DILG Legal Service, Trial and Investigation, led the team.
Benitez’s team is conducting a fact-finding investigation to determine what malfeasance the mayor has committed.
Benitez said the team will submit the result of the fact-finding probe to Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, who will later submit a full report to President Benigno Aquino III.
Aquino will have the last say on the matter, he added.
The fact-finding procedure would include gathering of facts from the demolition site, from the personalities present, and a dialogue with Duterte, and court sheriff Abe Andres, the person smacked by the mayor.
Benitez and Tiu arrived in Davao City around 6 a.m. Monday and proceeded to a closed door meeting with DILG-Davao Region Regional Director Ananias Villacorta.
The team went to the Hall of Justice for another closed-door meeting with Regional Trial Court branch 16 Judge Emmanuel Carpio.
From the Hall of Justice, the team met with Senior Inspector Ronald Lao of the Sta. Ana Police Precinct around 1 p.m.
Benitez said the team still has to talk to Andres since the sheriff went on a three-day leave. Sun.Star Davao also tried calling Andres but to no avail.
The day ended with a closed-door meeting with the mayor at the Grand Men Seng Hotel.
Present during the dialogue were Villacorta, Benitez, Tiu and Duterte with her lawyers, Nick Galas, Israel Torentera, Michael Cloribel, Cirilo Pucot, and her husband lawyer Mans Carpio.
Duterte said she advised the DILG to get the raw footage from the events in Matina Pangi and the demolition site at Barangay Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. better known as Soliman in Agdao district since she could not remember the exact details.
When told that Andres could not be located, Duterte quipped, “Ako na pud inyong pasanginlan (You might blame me for that).”
She was quick to say that she never attempted to approach Andres after the incident, adding she is ready to face any repercussions of her action.
“Dili ko gusto mu-influence sa iyaha (I don’t want to influence Andres) because he should be given the freedom to decide. Pasagdan na lang nato unsa iyang gusto (Let him decide what he intends to do),” the mayor said.
She will just wait for the results of the investigation, she said.
On a lighter note, she admitted that her right hand was still swollen as of Monday and that she found it difficult to stretch her fingers.
Duterte landed between four to five solid punches on Andres’s face at the height of the demolition.
Asked if she already talked to her father about the incident, she said she doesn’t talk to her father about work.
“But he knows that I know what I’m doing and that I’ll stand by to what I have done,” Mayor Duterte said.
Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, her father, in last Sunday’s edition of “Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa” television program defended the mayor and even told her not to apologize.
“Og mawa ka sa trabaho, ma-dismiss ka sa trabaho, ayaw kaguol (If you lose your job, don’t worry). Be proud of it because you were dismissed because you protected the people, especially the poor. If they disbar you, celebrate. Be happy with the thought that you were disbarred because you were furious over how they treated the people. Tutal di man ka mamatay ug di ka abogado (Anyway, you will not die if you are no longer a lawyer),” the elder Duterte said in his television program.
The mayor took a five-day leave of absence starting Monday to give the DILG free hand in its fact-finding mission.With report from SUNSTAR DAVAO