Senators defend Duterte over death threat vs ‘David Tan’

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


MANILA -- Senators believe Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had good intentions when he threatened to kill alleged rice smuggler Davidson Bangayan, alias David Tan.

In a televised hearing of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, Duterte said he will "gladly kill" Bangayan if the latter brings in smuggled goods into Davao City, the largest metropolis in the country in terms of land area.

"I will gladly kill him. I could go to prison for it. I'm old, your honor. I could spend the remaining days of my life (there). Matanda na rin ako. Marami na rin akong sakit. The most is about five to 10 years. I can do away with the stress by reading book," Duterte said.

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Reacting to his statement, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Etta Rosales said Duterte should be punished for his "utak pulbura" which only encourages a culture of impunity.

For Senate President Franklin Drilon, however, Duterte's threat only highlights his concern over the problem of smuggling in his city.

"That's a bravado for Mayor Duterte in his colorful language in order to highlight and emphasize that he doesn't want his city to be used as a venue for the continued smuggling of rice. We should take it as a bravado rather than a serious threat," Drilon told reporters.

Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate agriculture committee, said she took Duterte's statement figuratively.

"Hindi iyon patay kung patay. He's just mad at the criminals. That's why he threatens to kill them. But never did he kill them. I always go to Davao City and I'm very familiar with how he speaks because he has to be tough in Davao City," Villar said. (Sunnex)

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