DAVAO, Philippines – It’s the wrong kind of fame, says Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, almost a year after she punched a Davao Regional Trial Court sheriff for disobeying her orders during a demolition. The mayor had instructed Sheriff Abe Andres to hold a Brgy. Solomon demolition for the two hours it would take for her to arrive on site. Davao had been in the middle of recovery efforts after floods devastated portions of the city. Duterte refused to apologize at the time, even threatening the courts after suggestions were made to hold her in contempt.
The incident split national opinion, after national media released the demolition video. Many demanded her punishment, while rallies were organized in support of the woman whom hotels had created a cocktail called The Davao Punch. Sara’s father, nicknamed The Punisher for his years of allegedly controlling Davao with an iron fist, fed controversy by thrusting up his middle finger at a press conference in support of his daughter. He called it free speech, and said he would teach the same lesson to anyone who told him otherwise.
In this rare Rappler interview, the Duterte daughter talks about infamy, regret, and the father she hardly knows. Sara Duterte, who stayed with her mother after Rody Duterte broke from his wife, admits she is in constant disagreement with her father. The female mayor of Davao says being female and young has often stood in her way in the performance of her duties, as it did on the day she found herself slamming her fist against the face of a sheriff Abe Andres.
It happened, she said, because strong mayors have no right to cry.
(Video by Kiri Dalena, Patricia Evangelista and Karlos Manlupig) – Rappler.com