An account from Engr. Mon Ramirez of Arkibong Bayan.
It now appears that:
1. On Thursday, Mayor Duterte had asked the court to delay the demolition because the residents were ready to fight back and she knew it would turn bloody. The lawyer of the residents had filed a petition for a TRO.
2. On Friday. the Mayor asked the demolition team to stay the execution of the order for 2 hours but the sheriff refused..
She probably knew that Judge Carpio, an uncle-in-law, had signed a document ordering the deferment of the demolition for 10 days, effective Friday, “if only to defuse the social unrest and explosive atmosphere that presently pervade the area in controversy, and to avoid possible bloodshed.”
If the punches were not there and the demolition continued as insisted by the sheriff, one can imagine the bloody confrontation that would hve ensued.
That is the context of the punch in which one should judge the incident.
And here is Bob Marley’s song about a sheriff.
From the Inquirer report:
Duterte had rushed to Barangay Soliman upon being told that a police-backed team was preparing to demolish the shanties of 217 families in the face of angry residents armed with darts, other bladed weapons and hard objects.
In the initial confrontation between the demolition team and the residents, a policeman was hit by a dart in the buttocks.
Duterte arrived just as the demolition team was advancing.
Apparently exhausted from dealing with the floods that hit certain parts of Talomo district, Duterte told the team that she did not want bloodshed.
“I was in the middle of 13,000 people who were badly in need of assistance and here you are doing this?” she said.
She told the team that as early as Thursday, she asked the court to delay the demolition because the residents were ready to fight back and she knew it would turn bloody.
She asked the team to stay the execution of the court order for two more hours, but Andres refused.
“Is that difficult to do when I have successfully done it and I am a woman?” Duterte said, and then asked: “Where is the sheriff?”
Andres emerged and Duterte said: “Dali, sir (Come here, sir).”
As the sheriff was approaching, Duterte punched him twice in the face. When he tried to get away, she held him by the nape and continued punching him.
The mayor then told the stunned members of the team and the police not to proceed with the demolition. “Ayaw, ayaw (Don’t, don’t)!” she said.
The team dispersed and Andres was led away.
‘We’ll defend our rights’
Per the account of Minda Saison, vice chair of the United Settlers Association, the residents were being forced out of the lot claimed by a Jaime Uy of Davao Enterprise Corp.
They received a court order on June 23 telling them to vacate the area. The next day, their lawyer tried to file an appeal but it was not until yesterday that he was able to do so in Cagayan de Oro City.
They asked the demolition team to wait for the court decision but they were ignored.
“[We] will defend our rights. We will not allow them to demolish our properties while we are still waiting for the court’s ruling on our petition for the issuance of a temporary restraining order,” Saison said.
Duterte later admitted to reporters that she was angered by how the sheriff insisted on serving the notice for eviction.
“I was asking for only two hours. Two hours. Why can’t you give that to us? Why do you insist on serving the notice? Do you think the residents will just allow you to demolish their houses without them putting up a fight?” she said.
She added that she managed to convince the residents to agree to relocation after the incident.
Duterte said she was really upset, especially with Judge Carpio, a relative of her husband. She said she had been calling Carpio to at least suspend the demolition, to no avail.
Carpio declined to comment, saying Duterte’s husband was his nephew.
But he showed the Inquirer a document he had signed ordering the deferment of the demolition, “if only to defuse the social unrest and explosive atmosphere that presently pervade the area in controversy, and to avoid possible bloodshed.”
The deferment took effect Friday and will last for 10 days.
More photos of the demolition here: http://ahs1961.net/agdao/agdaodemolition.htm