DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte lashed back on Sunday at fellow presidentiable Manuel "Mar" Roxas, whom he accused of falsely claiming to be an alumni of Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university.
In Sunday's edition of Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa (From the Masses, For the Masses), Duterte said Roxas is not in the official list of Wharton Alumni, which include, among others, Donald Trump and Warren Buffett.
Duterte said Roxas may have studied at Wharton but only for short courses.
The mayor dared Roxas to show proof that he is a Wharton graduate by showing a photo of his graduation in the school.
Duterte also said that Roxas does not have the respect of the majority of the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) when he was still the secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which has supervision over the PNP.
The mayor also hit Roxas over his statement that the much ballyhooed peace and order in Davao City is all but a myth.
The former DILG chief based his statement on the data from the PNP Camp Crame that show Davao City logged a crime volume of 18,119 last year.
Quezon City had the highest crime volume in 2014, at 40,433, followed by Manila (22,778), and Zamboanga City (19,089) and Davao being the fourth.
But the Davao City Police Office quickly clarified the PNP figure, saying that out of the 18,119 crime volume of Davao City for 2014, only 6,548 (36 percent) is attributed to index crime, meaning crimes against person and properties.
The DCPO explained that the remaining 11,571 (64 percent) is attributed to non-index crimes, which are police-initiated operations that yielded positive results especially on anti-drugs and other special laws.
Duterte challenged Roxas to conduct a survey within the PNP to determine how many would support him as president. The mayor said that if Roxas would muster majority of the PNP members, he would withdraw from the presidential race and campaign for Roxas.
Duterte also warned Filipinos that aside from being a liar and a weak leader, Roxas could also not handle stress well as what he personally witnessed when Super Typhoon Yolanda hit Tacloban City.
Persona non grata
A call for the City Government of Davao to declare Roxas a persona non grata is meanwhile growing after the former secretary's statement calling Davao's peace and order a "myth."
Many netizens urged the Davao City Council to bar Roxas from entering the city, as his statement was an affront to the Dabawenyos.
To this, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte said such call is a "valid sentiment," but added that declaring Roxas persona non grata would put the Dabawenyos on the same level with Roxas, who is desperate of attention to save his "dying campaign."
"The call to declare Mar Roxas as persona non grata I think is a valid sentiment of the people as we think that Mar mocked the achievements of the city for his personal political gains. But I see no compelling reason to declare him as such for to do so would put us on the same level as he is. His campaign is gasping and for us to afford him our attention would breathe life into a dying campaign," the vice mayor said.
"While Ramon Bautista and Roxas are of the same color (yellow), the difference between their utterances is that the former singled out our women at binastos sila so he shall personally bear the consequences of his act, while Roxas' is political mudslinging and he shall bear his consequences come 2016 presidential elections," he added. (Sun.Star Davao)