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Monday, May 1, 2017

Rebel attack in Davao City sparks ‘word war’

DAVAO CITY – It’s a war of words and insults now between the New People’s Army and presidential daughter and current mayor of Davao City, Sara Duterte-Carpio who branded the communist rebel group as “stupid and bumbling idiots” after calling her a “hypocrite”.
The rebels recently attacked a factory of the Lapanday Foods Corporation owned by the wealthy Lorenzo family in Davao City and shot one of its security guards and wounded a civilian; and accused the company of land grabbing and exploitation of its workers. Carpio, who strongly condemned the attack, said it was an act of terrorism and a personal insult.
Restituto Baguer, a spokesman for the “Pambangsang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid” allied with the rebel group, accused Carpio of being a hypocrite, saying his husband, lawyer Mans Carpio works as a legal counsel for the Lapanday Foods Corporation. He also tagged the mayor as a spokesperson and defender for Lapanday Foods Corporation.
“It is understandable that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte (Carpio) views the May 29 NPA’s punitive action in the city as an “act of terrorism” against the Lorenzos, given that her husband, Atty. Mans Carpio, is a legal counsel of the Lorenzo-owned Lapanday Foods Corp. We can only expect that a GRP local chief executive who has vested interest in the companies of a land grabbing comprador-landlord to be the latter’s spokesperson and defender,” Baguer said.
He added that Carpio was silent when armed men allegedly working for Lapanday Foods Corporation shot and wounded 9 farmers at a banana plantation last December in nearby Tagum City in Davao del Norte province. And even appointed Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum, then the provincial police chief of North Cotabato as Davao City police chief despite his alleged human rights abuses.
“Sara Duterte hardly made noise when Lapanday’s armed goons opened fire and wounded nine unarmed civilian peasants three days after the latter’s land occupation of the land grabbed Lapanday banana plantation in Tagum City last December. Duterte also supported the appointment of Superintendent Alexander Tagum as Davao City Police Chief, the same fascist police officer who led the massacre of barricading El Niño victims in Kidapawan City in April last year,” Baguer said.
“Thus, for Sara Duterte to claim the NPA’s assault in the Lorenzo-owned businesses in Davao City a “personal insult,” is not only hypocritical but downright self-serving. Nothing can be farther from the truth when she scored the NPA as a group that pretends to champion social justice and equality. For peasants around the region, the NPA’s series of raids in Lapanday’s plants in Mandug and Bunawan, and ranch in Pangyan, Calinan (also in Davao City) is a fitting retributive action by a true people’s army against a greedy feudal lord and capitalist,” he added.
Inday Sara retaliates
Carpio, known for her feisty character, said she and husband are separate entities and do not discuss their jobs to each other, but are only committed to work for their own family. “My husband and I are separate entities. In fact, we do not discuss the job that we chose to do, we just commit to sincerely work and earn money for the benefit of our children,” she said.
She also narrated how she rushed to the hospital to personally look at the situation of the wounded civilian, Larry, who is a fruit and fish vendor who fell victim to an NPA bomb explosion during the April 29 raid at Lapanday Foods Corporation.
“So let me make you understand why I condemned what the New People's Army have done. On or about 8 o'clock in the morning of April 29, 2017, I was standing in the middle of the trauma room of the Southern Philippines Medical Center praying that the civilian who was injured in the IED blast - courtesy of the terrorist NPA - will not die. Larry had no one with him so I was the one who had to read through his text messages to look for a family member. I was the one who called his wife, broke the bad news, and asked her to come and stand by her husband's side.”
“One of his text messages spoke of his work as a simple laborer, who sells fruits and fish. The victim was the very person that you say should be defended from injustice. So when I condemned what the NPA did, I spoke for Larry. But you did not know that, did you? You just assumed when I say personal, it is all about my life. Because that is how you are. You are selfish individuals and you think the world is all about you. As Mayor tasked with the responsibility of the safety of civilians, the injury of Larry is my injury,” Carpio said.
She further said the incidents in the cities of Kidapawan and Tagum were not her concern being the mayor of Davao City. But she admitted that she personally favored Tagum to be the chief of the local police force because of his tough stance against the NPA.
“I personally made it happen that Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum come in as Director of the Davao City Police Office, because he stood his ground against you. The so-called punitive action against the company was nothing but an action against peace, economic stability, and the security in Davao City. We now have 130 employees without work and Larry still in a coma. And yet the Lorenzos will still have money that you and I can only dream about in this lifetime. It did not even make a dent in their bank accounts.”
“I maybe a hypocrite to you, but you are stupid to me and all the peace-loving Dabawenyos. Terrorists and fake organizations do not have the right to talk about social justice. Show me your faces and then maybe I will listen to your rant about social justice. Look, you cannot even spell the word 'Pambansang' correctly. Bumbling idiots,” Carpio said.
The NPA, which is fighting for a separate state, is currently negotiating peace with the government. (Mindanao Examiner)
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