DAVAO CITY -- The city council here on Tuesday declared Senator Antonio Trillanes as “persona non grata” for portraying the city the most dangerous in the Philippines and likening Dabawenyos to North Koreans who are easily brainwashed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The city council also declared New York-based Filipina businesswoman Loida Lewis as persona-non-grata. Lewis was recently accused as one of those allegedly behind the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision to investigate the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag explained in an interview that as persona non grata, Trillanes is not welcome in Davao City.
“Hindi siya kailangan dito (he is not needed here),” Al-ag said.
The vice mayor said he understands the politics of Trillanes and his political ambitions by attacking the President, but it is not acceptable to destroy the city and the people of Davao.
Al-ag asked the city council to declare Trillanes as such following the senator’s statements before the Filipino community in Chicago. The vice mayor’s call was unanimously backed by the city councilors.
“It was totally unacceptable. I am speaking on behalf of the Dabawenyos,” Al-ag said.
“This is an insult to the 1.6 million Dabawenyos who are working hard everything to make our city safe,” he said.
In a video shared on social media, Trillanes was seen and heard telling the audience that Davao City is number one in murder and rape in the Philippines allegedly based on a December 2015 data of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“In fact, it is actually the most dangerous city in the Philippines,” Trillanes said.
“Pero yung mga taga (But those in) Davao is so brainwashed into believing it is the safest city not only in the Philippines but in the world. Para silang mga North Koreans. Ganun yung… it’s the thing there…ganun ang nangyayari nabibili ka agad (They are like North Koreans. It’s like that…it’s the thing there…that’s happening there you can be bought),” Trillanes further said.
Trillanes even described Davao City has the worst traffic, many urban poor communities, garbage.
He compared it to General Santos City which is peaceful and with good urban planning.
Al-ag expressed his disgust at Trillanes’ description of Davao City.
“As a Dabawenyo, I take offense to the declaration of Mr. Trillanes. This statement is offensive, malicious and pure lies. In short, this statement is not true. This is fake news,” Al-ag said in a privilege speech at Tuesday’s city council regular session.
“Mr. Trillanes went to the United States of America just to portray Davao City as a dangerous place – a place full of criminals, a city of murderers, a city of rapists,” Al-ag said.
Al-ag asked that if Trillanes’ basis was 2015 data of the PNP, why would the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) award Davao City with a Seal of Good Governance (SGLG)? The DILG then was headed by Secretary Mar Roxas, an ally of Trillanes.
“We even received five million pesos cash reward from DILG as part of the award,” Al-ag continued.
Al-ag emphasized on peace and order as one of the core assessment areas. The other two cores are business friendliness, and competitiveness and environmental management.
“I think Mr. Trillanes is confused about his role as a senator of our country. A senator is mandated by our Constitution to legislate policies to preserve and protect the lives of the Filipinos,” he said.
“What are you doing Mr. Senator? Instead of preserving our lives, you are destroying our city. Instead of protecting the Dabawenyos, you are mocking the intelligence of Dabawenyos,” Al-ag quipped.
Al-ag challenged the Filipinos in Chicago to visit Davao City. “Try riding our taxis, our jeepneys, try walking in our streets in the middle of the night, try eating in restaurants and karenderyas, try going to our police stations,” he urged.
“And if you feel and think that Davao is a city of murderers and rapists as what Mr. Trillanes declared, I will refund all your travel expenses plus pocket money going back to Chicago,” he added.
Al-ag hits back at Trillanes as the most dangerous (person).
“You are a dangerous person. Every word you utter is intended to destroy lives. Your words impeded the ability of every Filipino to love his country. Your action destroys a community,” Al-ag blasted Trillanes.
He recalled that Trillanes destroyed Oakwood Hotel in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula in 2007.
“Now you want to destroy my city? No way! You want to destroy my people? No way!” he declared.
Al-ag said Trillanes is bound to fail.
“You will not succeed in destroying the Dabawenyos. You will not succeed in destroying our beloved President Rodrigo Duterte,” Al-ag declared. (PNA)