POE CLAIMS BEING BARRED FROM HOLDING RALLY IN DUTERTE COUNTRY
Stung by black propaganda hurled at their city and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Dabawenyos vowed to keep away from all campaign rallies in Davao City by presidential candidates Mar Roxas and Senator Grace Poe.
Dabawenyos warned of the boycott on the heels of accusations from the camps of the two rivals of Duterte who is running under the banner of the opposition Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban).
Dabawenyos expressed the no-show sentiment in phoned-in reactions in various local radio public affairs programs which tackled the claim of Poe that she was barred from holding a rally in Davao City.
Independent candidate Poe last week said City Hall refused to give a permit to a political rally she was to hold in the city.
Earlier, Roxas, standard bearer of the administration Liberal Party, had described as a “myth” claims that Davao City is one of the safest cities in the country.
Roxas had also said that he knew that drug pushers and addicts abound in the Davao City and that he could buy drugs to belittle Duterte’s claim of success in the anti-drug campaign.
The residents of this city of 1.5 million known as the most progressive city of Mindanao, pride themselves at the city’s peace and order and progress under the leadership of Duterte as city mayor for more than two decades.
Davao City has been named by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), during the tenure of Roxas himself as interior secretary of President Benigno Aquino, with the Seal of Good Governance and for its success in the anti-drug campaign. The city has also been lauded as among the most business-friendly by DILG and various business groups for its drive against corruption and for curbing red-tape in issuance of permits.
Poe’s claim she was not given permit for the rally has been disputed by City administrator Melchor Quitain, who is also the secretary general of the Duterte-led local party Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod.
We will not prevent any candidate from holding rallies for as long as they secure permit, he said.
Business Bureau chief Atty. Lawrence Bantiding clarified that Poe’s camp applied for permit and then later cancelled the application.
Duterte, reacting to Poe’s blast said opposition candidates can hold rallies even without permit but should coordinate with the local police.
“Simply baseless if not ridiculous,” said Peter Laviña, Duterte’s spokesman, of Poe’s claim.
He said Poe’s claim was black propaganda to discredit the mayor, recalling that the senator also made a similar claim against Cebu City.
Local political analyst professor Ramon Beleno of the Ateneo de Davao University, said Poe’s camp could have aborted their rally on fear they could not get a crowd in Duterte country.
It is normal for candidates to avoid holding rallies in areas known as strong bailiwicks of rivals, he said.
Laviña said Duterte and the Davao City local government do not curtail freedom of people.
“Davao City is known for its respect and tolerance to groups and people who want to exercise their freedom and use public spaces to protest and express grievances or political views or religious beliefs peacefully,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that the senator’s camp is twisting the facts, making it appear like a permit was not granted because of politics,” Laviña added.