BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte said there is no need for Dabawenyos to declare presidential candidate Mar Roxas as ‘persona non grata’ as the ruling Liberal Party bet is a sure loser in the coming 2016 elections.
His campaign is gasping, said the son of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the leading candidate in surveys for presidential preference. Duterte is the standard bearer of the opposition Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP).
In a recent survey covering MetroManila by the Social Weather Station (SWS), Duterte led with 38 percent and Roxas with an emaciated 15 %. Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe shared the second spot with 21% each.
But the young Duterte shared the sentiment of the Dabawenyos who urged the Davao City Council to declare Roxas as ‘persona non grata’ for saying that Davao City’s claim as a peaceful city is a myth.
For this insult to the Dabawenyos and the city dubbed as one of the safest cities in the world, Mayor Duterte threatened to slap Roxas and warned voters that Roxas is unfit to be President because he is a weakling who cannot stand stress.
Mayor Duterte also unmasked Roxas, who sells himself as an economist, as a fake alumni of the prestigious Wharton University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Netizens are urging that the Davao City Council pass a resolution declaring Roxas as “persona non grata.’
“The call to declare Mar Roxas as persona non grata is a valid sentiment of the people as Mar mocked the achievements of the city for his personal political gains,” he said.
But I see no compelling reason to declare him as persona non rata’, he adds.
Dabawenyos, he said, should not stoop down to the level of Roxas and leave his fate to the ballot.
“His campaign is gasping and for us to afford him our attention would breathe life into a dying campaign,” the vice mayor said.
Dabawenyos have no love lost for Roxas.
In the 2010 elections, Roxas, then the running mate of President Benigno Aquino under the Liberal Party, lost by more than 70,000 in Davao City to then Senator Jejomar Binay of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in the presidential derby.
This despite the support for administration candidates by the Duterte-founded local bloc Hugponng sa Rawong Lyngsod.
With his consistent poor showing in the surveys as a perennial cellar dweller, Roxas is fighting an uphill battle in a five-cornered fight with Duterte, Binay, Poe and Senator Miriam Santiago.