- Posted July 12, 2012 by
Davao's Duterte hit for making man eat paper
By Ben O. Tesiorna
Davao City's most beloved official, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, is being criticized for making an accused swindler eat fake documents. The criticisms however came not from Duterte's constituents but from outsiders who are quick to draw their conclusions over reports in the media.
Reports about the incident claimed that VM Duterte made swindling suspect, Manolito Gavas, ate the fake documents which he used in urging several homeless Dabawenyos take over a property at Victoria Village in Matina, Davao City claiming that he (Gavas) is the rightful owner of the said property.
Gavas' documents turned out to be falsified though thus his arrest on Monday. That same evening, Duterte visited the suspect inside the Matina Police station where the vice mayor reportedly forced Gavas to eat his fake documents.
Television reports showed Gavas munching something inside his mouth.
In interviews the following day, Vice Mayor Duterte however denied feeding Gavas with his fake documents. The official said the suspect was explaining to him when he smelled something foul coming from Gavas's mouth. Thus Duterte offered him a chewing gum.
"I gave him a chewing gum because he has a bad breath," Duterte said with a smile.
Commission on Human Rights chair Etta Rosales and Bohol Bishop Leonardo Medroso quickly criticized Duterte for the incident saying that the vice mayor degraded the human dignity of the suspect.
For this, Rosales condemned the incident and called on Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo to act on the matter.
Rosales said Duterte abused his power and violated the Anti-Torture Law. However, Rosales also said the DILG should give Duterte the chance to explain his actions.
Bishop Medroso meanwhile said that though he understands Duterte's emotion at that moment, his action is still unacceptable.
"Sana isaalang-alang pa rin nila ang dignidad ng akusado. Tao pa rin naman yan (He should have taken into consideration the dignity of the suspect. After all the suspect is still human)," the Bohol bishop said.
Gavas admitted being a Bohol native and is here in Davao City to claim properties he said are his. The suspect also refused to confirm nor deny he was made to eat documents by Duterte. He simply stated that he had already forgiven Duterte for whatever he did.
Duterte's action was however lauded by most Davaoeños. Comments in the social networks showed Davao City residents supporting the action of Duterte with some saying that Gavas was even lucky as he was just made to eat his fake documents and not eat a bullet. BOT