DAVAO CITY—Coming to the defense of her father, presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio slammed Archbishop Socrates Villegas for calling the Dutertes ‘pimps of Edsa’ and accusing them of trying to prostitute the meaning of the Edsa People Power revolt.
“Unfortunately for you Archbishop Villegas, this is not a biased commentary on your letter to the dead because I am not a fan of President Duterte. But you are truly, madly, deeply worse than a hundred President Dutertes,” she said in her statement Friday.
The mayor, who kept silent over continued attacks on Duterte, said she was disturbed by the letter of Villegas to the late Cardinal Sin criticizing the Dutertes.
“Since 1986 and until seven months ago, I remember that our nation has been hounded by corruption, crime, territorial war of gangs and drug lords, extrajudicial killings, narco politics, terrorism, protracted rebellion, abuse of power in government, political bickering and the entry of foreign mafias,” she said.
“It surely did not start when President Duterte took office,” she added.
“When your friend failed as a President, I cannot remember you calling it the rape of Edsa. You just swept it under your glitzy rugs and you moved on, back to business—back to acting as if you can save us all from hell,” she said.
The mayor reminded Villegas that President Duterte won the presidency precisely because “you ignored what was wrong with this world. All you desired was to put into power a leader who walks and talks like you—someone who is definitely not Rodrigo Duterte.”
“You are deeply worse than a hundred President Dutertes,” Sara said in her statement, which was released to the press Friday.
She emphasized it was wrong accusing the President of defacing the memory of Edsa, recalling how her father woke her up on the night of Feb. 25, 1986, to bring her to San Pedro Cathedral.
She said she remembered her father telling her and her brother: “Remember this night. Never forget this.”
“I have a memory of myself standing on the stairs of the San Pedro church bell tower, listening to the incessant ringing of the bells. I did not understand what was happening, but I surmised that it must be something very important because my father had to get me out of bed to watch cheering and partying adults on the streets,” she recalled.
Now, she said, she can say that the celebration of the 1986 Edsa revolution is important but only to commemorate what the people did for the country at a certain period of its history.
“I find it hard to understand why this bloodless revolution has become the standard definition of freedom for our country and this standard is forced down our throats by a certain group of individuals who think they are better than everyone else. These are the elite and their friends, including Archbishop Villegas,” she said.With PNA
She added: “Your group is sadly a bunch of delusional hypocrites. While all of you were up there riding high on your horses, you failed to notice that many of us down here empathize with what Rodrigo Duterte is saying because it is the hard truth. It is truly without the air of hypocrisy that we smell from your kind.”
The mayor pointed out that the President perfectly understood what the spirit of Edsa is, “otherwise, he would not have told me to never forget that night of 31 years ago. And I now believe that he understands it better than you do.”
She told Villegas that freedom is living a life that is free from your selective moral standard.
“This is what the meaning of Edsa is,” she said.
Duterte on Friday reminded Filipinos that the People Power revolution belongs to all Filipinos, not just a few.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, who delivered the message on behalf of the President, said that the peaceful revolution which ousted the dictatorship would inspire heroism among Filipinos.
“The spirit of Edsa does not belong to the one sector or one group of people, but to all Filipino who believe in freedom and a democratic way of life,” Duterte said in his message for the 31st anniversary of the historic uprising.
“No single party, ideology, religion, or individual could claim credit for the bloodless revolution at Edsa in the same way that no single party, ideology, religion, or individual could claim a monopoly of patriotism,” Duterte added.
The President also cited the need to assess the losses and gains it contributed to the country.
“Now is the opportune time to ask ourselves—what have we achieved after Edsa? More than a mere commemoration, now is the perfect time for all of us to reflect and objectively assess what we have lost and what we have gained as a nation since that historic event,” he said.
Three of the central players of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution—former president Fidel Ramos, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Gregorio Honasan had a reunion of sorts during anniversary rites at Camp Aguinaldo Friday morning.
Former Vice President Jejomar Binay, one of the first officials appointed by the Cory Aquino administration after the Edsa Revolution, was also present for the EDSA anniversary.
Ramos said this year’s commemoration of the Edsa People Power Revolution should not be about politics, but about the people.
Edsa People Power Commission vice chairperson Joey Concepcion said Duterte’s absence did not mean that the event was not important to him.
Duterte was in Davao City to relaunch the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. With PNA