Mayor Sara Duterte stood firm with her action on throwing punches to the face of sheriff Aby Andres.
The mayor said the sheriff executed the court order to pursue the demolition even with her plea to delay it for a couple of hours for humanitarian reasons since she wanted to talk to the affected residents to avoid violence.
The contested 3,143-square-meter land 9s owned by a Philip Kho.
Minda Sayson, vice president of the United Settlers Association in Bangoy Creek (USABC ), said they are ready to honor the court order but all they wanted was to know the extent of the area that will be demolished.
“I did not say I want to stop the demolition. All I want was for him to conduct an orderly demolition to avoid violence,” she said.
Duterte rushed to Barangay Soliman from the calamity areas in Barangay Matina where she conducted relief operation upon learning that the demolition went on with several residents including children and a policeman already hurt in the melee.
She said she would take responsibility for her action.
Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) condemned the violent demolition of over 200 shanties in the area occupied by at least 217 families, and lauded Duterte for her intervention
“If it were not of the people’s collective resistance and the intervention of Mayor Sara Duterte, the sheriff and the police would have succeeded in ushering the demolition crew in enforcing the demolition order,” Bayan said.
The punches sent Davao City Mayor Duterte off to cyberspace and be the trending topic in social media like Twitter and Facebook..
Davao City Police Office Director Rene Aspera said the sheriff was the one who ordered the demolition despite Duterte’s plea. He said the police were only there to protect the demolition team and enforce peace and order in the area.
As a result of the demolition, Aspera said Police Inspector Peter John Moring was injured in the leg by an “indian pana”. The policeman was declared out of danger.
Duterte stood by her action saying they had an understanding last Thursday for the demolition to start at 11 a.m. of Friday because she wanted to personally monitor the demolition. The demolition started at 10:30 a.m.
After the punches, the mayor ordered her guards to bring the sheriff to the hospital for a medical checkup and admission if need be. The sheriff declined to be admitted at the hospital.
Mayor Duterte denied asking for an apology, saying sending the sheriff to the hospital was already apology enough..
The tension that broke out in what was better known as Bangoy Soliman left 10 residents, including a 12-year-old girl and a policeman, injured.
They were brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center.
The riot started when demolition teams, together with Sheriff Andres and policemen, gathered on the street to serve the writ of demolition issued by Judge Emmanuel Carpio of Regional Trial Court Branch 16.
Duterte said she earlier asked the city housing official to inform the court sheriff that somebody will file a temporary restraining order (TRO) and that the court might issue an order before 11 a.m.
She said if the court sheriff only heeded her plea and waited for her, no such violence could have erupted.
Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo said he will send a legal team to Davao City on Monday to investigate the incident.
Robredo said Duterte may be reprimanded or dismissed from service depending on the results of the investigation the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will conduct on the punching incident.
No more aid to judges
Mayor Duterte is set to terminate all forms of support to the local court.
The city is providing to the Hall of Justice job order employees and gasoline allowances.