Duterte denies row with son

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

DAVAO. Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte reminds his father Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of the Council resolution declaring comedian Ramon Bautista persona non grata. (Sun.Star file)


DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte dismissed public perception of him being in conflict with his son, Vice Mayor Paolo "Pulong" Duterte, over the status of comedian Ramon Bautista.

The Davao City Council recently passed a resolution declaring Bautista persona non grata over his "hipon" joke during Davao's Kadayawan Festival.

"Hipon" is a shrimp and in the local slang refers to a woman who is ugly but is sexy.

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Bautista posted on Instagram a picture of Mayor Duterte and the mayor's note saying "To Ramon: Mabuhay Ka! Mayor Rody Duterte".

The young Duterte in reaction to the post few hours after said in a statement: "He (Mayor Duterte) should respect the decision of the City Council because the body represents the people of Davao City who voted for him for decades."

"The mayor of Davao City can always welcome anybody he wants on a personal level. But as long as Davao City is concerned, Mr. Ramon Bautista is unwelcome here in our city because of the persona non grata resolution," Vice Mayor Duterte said.

The vice mayor was reacting to the newspaper stories that came out Thursday regarding Mayor Duterte's phone conversation with Ramon Bautista and the mayor's statement that the comedian can always come back to the city.

However, the vice mayor's statement drew another statement from the mayor who stated this time: "let me remind the honorable vice mayor and the majority that their decision to declare Ramon Bautista persona non grata is a city council resolution and not an ordinance. It does not bind me and everyone else who disagree with it. The essence of a democracy is the right to dissent. As Voltaire would put it, `I may disagree by what you say, but I will defend your right to say it'. For your education."

In a statement Saturday, Mayor Duterte said that his difference in opinion with other public officials of the city does not mean that they are fighting. He said it was but a healthy exchange of ideas and part of a healthy democracy.

"People should not expect the City Council and the office of the mayor to agree on all matters all the time. I respect the City Councils' resolution to declare Ramon Bautista "a persona non grata". But remember early on I said the apology would suffice, because to declare the actor as an outcast was too severe. Our different postures are part of day's work, nothing more," Mayor Duterte said.(BOT)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 30, 2014.

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