Presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s assessment of his rival Mar Roxas could bring tears to and break the heart of the Liberal Party standard bearer.
“Roxas is the most incompetent Filipino ever to aspire for the presidency,” said the tough-talking Duterte, the candidate of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban.
Duterte, a front runner in the May election, dished out the line to reporters prior to speaking before a gathering of Filipino-Chinese businessmen in Binondo, Manila on January 19.
Duterte revved up on a demolitiion mode against President Benigno Aquino’s candidate after Roxas in December belittled the mayor’s claim that Davao City is among the safest cities in the country.
Roxas tagging the claim as a “myth” led to a word war, and the two challenging each other to a fistfight, and slapping and gun duels. The physical encounters, however, did not materialize.
Duterte said the incompetence of Roxas, Aquino’s former Interior secretary, is shown in his track record in government.
Roxas was the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry of then President Joseph Estrada and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He served as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication under Aquino and later as Interior Secretary before resigning to run for President.
Holding such positions, Roxas did not make a difference to our country. He did not make even a dent. He was irrelevant, said Duterte.
As mayor for 22 years, Duterte said Davao City received numerous awards.
Some of the awards were conferred by Roxas as the then Interior secretary, Duterte said.
Roxas’ signature is on a Seal of Good Local Governance plaque won by Davao City in 2015, he said.
He adds thar in the same year, the Davao City Police Office and its anti-illegal drugs task force were named as the country’s best.
The best of Roxas’ incompetence was shown when super typhoon Yolanda devastated parts of the Visayas, said Duterte.
Roxas showed his lack of leadership at a time when he was the highest-ranking government official in a disaster area, he said.
Roxas and the Aquino administration have been widely criticized by both local and international organizations and by media for the slow pace of the relief and rehabilitation operations in the aftermath of the tragedy that killed hundreds and rendered thousands of families homeless.