For the third time, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and son Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte locked in verbal scrimmage on an issue where they could not agree.
Last week, Mayor Duterte said traffic aides of the City Hall Traffic Management Center (TMC) should be armed against criminals.
But his son, VM Duterte disagreed. This is the third that the two clashed over an issue, after the proposed Davao City Sports Complex and the reported violations by ferry operators plying the Davao-Samal sea route.
Mayor Duterte had broached the idea of providing firearms to traffic aides after TMC personnel Ruel Siacor was gunned down while manning traffic early evening last week in MacArthur Highway in Matina Crossing.
But during the Pulong Pulong ni Pulong weekly press conference on May 12, the vice mayor said that he is against the idea of the mayor to provide firearms to the TMC traffic enforcers.
Arming the traffic enforcers might cause more trouble, said VM Duterte. @There job is already stressful. Giving them firearms could further complicate things, he said.
While he is against it, however, the vice mayor said that the final decision on arming the TMC men would rest upon the mayor.
The verbal exchange over the traffic aides is the third time in just two months that the father-and-tandem clashed over public issues.
Earlier, VM Duterte slammed ferry operators plying the Davao-Samal route for not enforcing regulations requiring passengers to wear life jackets. Advising his son, Mayor Duterte said the issue should be approached with diplomacy and not through harsh words. VM Duterte aired his anger over the violations of the ferry operators during a privilege speech in the Davao City Council.
The privilege speech led the Committee on Peace and Public Safety chaired by Councilor Nilo Abellera to conduct an investigation into the alleged violations of maritime laws by the ferry operators.
Last month, VM Duterte said informal settlers in the proposed P8 billion Sports Complex in the University of the Philippines in Mindanao (UPMin) campus in Bago Oshiro, Mintal should not be displaced.
The settlers are farmers who tilled a 20-hectare lot inside the UPMin campus that would be the site of the proposed sports complex.
VM Duterte suggested the settlers be given relocation sites and provided with livelihood. Instead of displacing the settlers, the vice mayor also said the local government could buy another land for the sports complex which has been given by Congress a seed money of P100 million to start off the project.
Mayor Duterte, reacting, said he would himself demolish the houses of the settlers if they would not leave the area. He said the settlers do not have title to the land and the Sports Complex is needed by children.
City administrator Melchor Quitain said there is nothing wrong with the Dutertes locked in verbal war over public issues.
These are exchanges aimed at enhancing public service, said Quitain.
Mayor Duterte, mayor for more than 20 years, could be honing up his children on good governance as he has said earlier he was grooming VM Duterte and daughter Sara Duterte, already a one-term mayor (2010-2013), to follow in his footstep when he retires from politics.
Of late, mayor Duterte said he would prefer Sara to be the next mayor having already experienced running the local government.
VM Duterte said he would respect his father’s decision but said he would gun for the mayorship if his sister would decide not to return to politics.