DAVAO CITY Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had some choice words for Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza for calling him “epal” [an opportunist] for sending rice to the hungry farmers in Kidapawan City to push his presidential bid.
“May gusto akong sabihin kay Lala. P*t*ng *n* mo, wala akong pakialam dyan leche ka ha,” Duterte told reporters Wednesday night.
He denied donating sacks of rice to the Kidapawan farmers who had been demanding food aid from the Cotabato provincial government.
He cursed Mendoza for saying his rice donation was “a publicity stint.”
He also slammed administration standard bearer Manuel Roxas II when Roxas said his vow to stop crime, drugs and corruption was “pambobola.”
Duterte’s supporters had sent hundreds of sacks of rice to the farmers holed out at the Spottswood Methodist Center compound in Kidapawan after government security forces violently dispersed their highway blockade on Friday.
At least three farmers were killed and scores of others were wounded. The incident sparked a spontaneous outpouring of support from Duterte’s supporters, many of whom brought sacks of rice to Davao City Hall for delivery to the farmers the following day.
Mendoza, however, took offense at the donations. She told a press conference: “Huwag n’yong gawing staging ground ang North Cotabato. Bigla kayong darating, magbibigay nang bigas? Nang-i-insulto ba kayo o namumulitiko kayo?”
Duterte said he was unaware of the donations. He said he was in Toledo, Cebu, when the rice donations were being collected.
“Somebody either in good faith or as a bad joke [sent sacks of rice to Kidapawan],” he said.
Addressing Mendoza, Duterte said: “Huwag mo akong tawaging epal-epal. Kayo ang epal dyan, mga Liberal. Rio N. Araja
“Assuming na galing Davao ‘yan, bakit ka magalit kung magtanggap ang mga tao para makakain?
“What is fundamentally wrong if someone writes my name on a sack of rice and gives it to the people?”
Duterte said the rice donations did not even bear his name. The donors simply wrote “From the people of Davao City” on the donated sacks of rice.