DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte cautioned the City Council to think twice in whatever they do especially if it involves the Office of the City Mayor.

Short of saying that the City Council was disrespectful of her authority, Duterte called the council's grilling on appointed city administrator Zuleika Lopez last Tuesday as "out of line".

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The mayor said the councilors, led by her father Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, did not focus on Lopez's qualifications but on a more personal level.

"Hinay-hinay mo dinha. Pagbaton mo ug respeto sa mayor," the young Duterte said.

The mayor said that Tuesday's session of the City Council was a demolition job for Lopez whom, she claimed, "is very much qualified to the position of the city administrator."

She expressed disappointment when no less than her father questioned Lopez about several complaints regarding her style of running the office.

Mayor Duterte said how Lopez runs the City Administration Office is not the problem of the City Council but that of the mayor's office. She said she will hold responsibility in whatever failures Lopez would do and not the City Council.

In an interview Wednesday, Vice Mayor Duterte, however, said that they are not getting personal on Lopez.

He said the only issue they threw at her was on the requirement of the law for city administrators to have at least five years of experience in management and administration work.

Book III, Title V, Article 10, Section 480 of the Local Government Code, prescribes the qualifications, term, powers and duties of the administrator as follows:

"(a) No person shall be appointed administrator unless he is a citizen of the Philippines, a resident of the local government unit concerned, of good moral character, a holder of a college degree preferably in public administration, law, or any other related course from a recognized college or university, and a first grade civil service eligible or its equivalent. He must have acquired experience in management and administration work for at least five years in the case of the provincial or city administrator, and three years in the case of the municipal administrator. The term of administrator is coterminous with that of his appointing authority."

On Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Duterte however withdrew Lopez' appointment for the position and instead declared that Lopez will stay as "acting city administrator". The mayor said with an acting capacity, Lopez no longer needs the concurrence of the City Council.

This latest development has all the more fuelled rumors that the father and daughter are at odds with each other. The rumor started when Mayor Duterte started implementing reforms in City Hall upon assumption to office.

The young Duterte also withdrew the City Government's support to the military and slashed several budgets of several offices including that of the vice mayor's office now occupied by her father.

Mayor Duterte however dismissed the rumor. She said her father simply could not lecture on her that is why he instead vented his frustration on Lopez.

"Dili ko nya (Vice Mayor Duterte) kaya kasab-an that's why he berated her (Lopez). Alam ni Lyka ito when she stood up there kahapon. I think the mayor (Vice Mayor Duterte) did say months ago, and I always say, we don't talk. Ever. Nothing, not yet. It's not being at odds. That's that way we are," the young Duterte said.

Asked if she also does not talk much with her father on a personal level, Mayor Duterte said her father usually goes through her mother to get her attention.

"If it were a family issue at kung galit sya sa akin, tatawag sya kay mama ko. That's the way the cookie crumbles. Murag kapila naman mi nagdeclare in public nga dili mi gaistorya. Normal man na sa amoa nga di magtingog even before I became vice mayor. We are not close as a father and daughter," Mayor Duterte said.

"And I always say to all his messengers, malapit na 2013. Relax lang, back to normal sila when my term ends. But I will never resign," she added. (BOT)