I would like to thank all who have participated in the discussion on the unfortunate incident involving Mayor Sara Duterte and Sheriff she punched in anger.
In presenting my position on this blog, I made a distinction between anger and the manner in which anger is expressed.
In the ensuing discussion, I am grateful to all who have understood this distinction. Among those who have, however, a concern that has been raised is that I have not adequately denounced the Mayor for expressing her anger in the manner that she did.
This point is well taken. Having worked to stop many illegal demolitions in the past in favor of the poor, my immediate sympathy was with the person trying to stop the demolition. The Mayor’s request for two hours stay of demolition was not unreasonable. The mandatory coordination with local government mandated by RA 7279 was absent. In my view, the sheriff was wrong. Admittedly, I focused more on the righteous anger than on the unrighteous manner in which the anger was expressed. Admittedly, in my writing, I may have treated the punching itself too abstractly and too lightly. It was wrong. And it should also have called forth my anger, as it did the anger of many decent citizens.
So, as an offshoot of this dialogue, let me state for the record that in the end I agree with all those vigorously condemning the manner in which Mayor Duterte expressed her anger – the punching – as unacceptable, deplorable, barbaric and as a violent violation of the person an office of the Sheriff. I agree that it is ultimately conduct unbecoming the head of Davao’s local government. I agree as well that from my office as a key educator I should not be misunderstood to be supporting such “bullying” behavior in our democratic society, especially if the context of the past Duterte administration, to which so much macchiavelian violence is attributed. I agree that if the punching is not just an unfortunate, ill-considered expression of anger, but a symbol of a culture of governance, it too must be vigorously condemned.
To Father Sean Coyle from Bacolod, let me say that I am one with Atty. Alfred Sipaco of the Davao Commission on Human Rights and with the Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao in condemning all forms of extrajudicial and summary killings – including those which you enumerate in your comment’s questions to me. Had the flashflood not occurred, the ADDU would have been part of the multisectoral indignation rally that had been planned for July 1st, and shall also be part of the indignation rally once it is reorganized.