When is violence ever an answer?

I was shocked when I heard about Mayor Sara Duterte’s unconscionable act this afternoon. As a Dabawenyo, I felt deeply embarrassed that our city mayor could descend to that level of baseness. Whether the man who got punched (several times) by the mayor was out of line for his actions or not, violence is never an acceptable response. Especially not from the highest-ranking city official.

It could be that the mayor, embattled from different fronts due to the ineptness of her government in anticipating the recent flash flood, which killed more than 20 people, probably found an opportunity to gain the people’s favor by providing them with some entertainment. Tawdry, at best, but as you might have noticed in the video, the gathered masses were cheering her on.

Or maybe the mayor was so miffed by the apparent lack of respect from the sheriff that she unleashed her temper on him as soon as he arrived on the scene.

Either way, violence is unacceptable and unbecoming, to say the least.

This distasteful incident brings to mind the banana republics of South America way back when — the era of despotic dictators and mesmerized constituents.

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22 Responses to “When is violence ever an answer?”

  1. Erasmus Jose Fabello says:

    Yes everyone was shock when the mayor (Inday Sara) did that (Punched the hell out of the sheriff). Yet if the scenario was different – like if Rodrigo was the Mayor – Nobody would be felling a wave of shock so to speak because everyone knows that the guy is capable of throwing a good punch. Before everyone concludes if the act was violent – everybody should look into and deeply why the action was taken. Before everyone speaks of violence being unacceptable – Think of the many instances when you yourselves have gone down the base just to prove something. It will be funny when you get to be in that position – but the situation – best to describe – is knowingly known truly between you and the other person you’re so pissed about. The major major difference is that the Mayor is the Mayor and we and the many – are nothing but a common tao. (so no celebrity treatment – open videos, outrageous reactions and never ending interviews) Nevertheless to conclude – If that happened to you or me i will do that over and over again – DISRESPECT TO AUTHORITY IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE.

  2. Blogie says:

    Mesmerized constituent.

  3. The situation is best stated as morality versus legal ethics. What Mayor Sara Duterte showed is a great leadership act in dealing situations like what happened. If you would you truly weigh the situation, you would blame the sheriff for his wrong actions. We cannot expect the Mayor to just shout on the ears of the sheriff and walk out.

    • Blogie says:

      With all due respect, you didn’t make any sense here. Legal ethics and morality aren’t at loggerheads, not at all. What Duterte did in response to the sheriff’s disrespect and insensitivity was not the mark of a leader at all. No true leader resorts to force (much less violence) to exert influence. I keep saying this over & over: the sheriff being wrong in what he did does not justify the mayor’s violence.

      • I really respect your opinion. What I’m trying to say is we are humans with feelings. We cannot just base it all on how the law works or how our philosophy influences us. Yes, violence is never been considered an answer for the sheriff’s wrong actions but, again, the Mayor has to do something to satisfy the people in Agdao. Violent but sympathetic. And no choice, they liked it.

  4. noy gonzales says:

    The people there liked it because for them it was entertainment.– how sure you are to say that we davaoeños liked it as entertainment??? you pathetic bastard, we are not ignorant as you might think. if you have a little common sense the people cheers on what mayor sara did because the people feels that they were defended and have someone on their side that stops the demolition!!! what a hek on this blogger, shame on you peanut head!

  5. macky p. says:

    I agree with this peanut head.

    Throwing the punch was an easy way out. I want leaders who can hold themselves in check, The punch was dessert for populism and dinner table chatter.

    This is also slippery slope. You can say It weakens local authority (if you’re not the Mayor) in people’s eyes. Sends a message that (once again) fear & intimidation not civil discourse is proper leadership. Then, that next day threat to pull the court budget if charges are filed was simply trite. This is not normal, kids. And pulling the us (davao) vs. them (critics) argument is weak.

    I’m not a Sara hater. I’m actually someone who actually expects more from her.

  6. Hi Blogie! Your blogpost is indeed a “cry in the wilderness” amidst the hysterics of the mesmerized constituents there, nevertheless, it serves as a clarion call to those whose wits are still about them. Your blogpost gives the reader a moment to ponder and I hope many others will read it for what it is – a call to sobriety and civility. :)

    • Blogie says:

      Thank you for your enlightened thoughts, Gilbert! But a “cry in the wilderness” is a bit too much — I have no plans of being martyred. wink

  7. allan says:

    well, what will you go for, smack the sheriff in the kisser four times or having people killed because of the sheriff’s haste to implement said court order. I will go for the former rather than the latter. mas mabuti na yun kesa meron na namang namatay sa demolition. We had enough deaths coming from the recent floods, we do not want more…good for the sheriff and for Mayor Sarah, you are more than our jewel mayor, you are our defender…for the rights of the poor and the oppressed….

  8. makka says:

    We need not condemn people for their mistakes in the face of defending others. Whoever thinks her acts are morally wrong is a self-righteous person. Take the speck out of your eye first before taking the specks from others’ eyes.
    Sometimes you gotta do , what you gotta do to uphold your defense for the truth and for the defenseless.
    She asked for 2 hours of consideration, did she? But her requests were denied. The sheriff did not respect her authority—she is the mayor. Even though she made a request, she was tuned out by the sheriff which actually proves the sheriff defied her authority. And now you think , she’s still evil? What really constitutes morality ? According to Christian principles, defying moral values is defying God’s law. God’s law even uses violence in defense of his people. What God opposes are people against his laws and his acts of nature—like unnatural sex acts, dishonesty, cruelty to the poor, adultery, etc.
    Who are we to condemn others , even if she’s the mayor? At least she is unlike other public administrators who are dishonest and greedy. Let’s stop talking about her mistakes….let’s do something about what we can do for others and for our country, or at least for our barangay or town.

  9. trooper009 says:

    Indeed. I agree with ya both Alla and Makka. Kudus to Mrs. Carpio :) I salute her

  10. Raynan says:

    Hmmmm, I had mixed emotions when i saw this on TV, but if you were the victim, if you are one of those residents and your homes are to be demolished and here comes our mayor and is on your side, even if she laid a smackdown on the sheriff, for those people it was A OK.

    But for some it was uncalled for, especially since she is the majoy of the city, and should be a role model to teens.

    Up until now, I still have mixed emotions on the incident.

  11. Jonel says:

    First and foremost the punch is not for entertainment purposes.

    I understand not many people will understand as to why we (dabawenyos) defend our mayor. You just have to be one of us to understand how we feel.

    Second, of course violence can never be justified, and our mayor admitted that. She faced the consequences of our action.

    The problem is that the law is too structured not considering the emotions of those who are involved. I know you would do the same if the situation would happen to you on a personal level. Not many people will understand you because those people are not directly involved.

    I want you to think of this one. Bakit ayaw magfile ng kaso ng sheriff? Ang mga sheriff sa Manila ang nagfile, di naman sana sila directly involved. Ako sa tingin ko, the way they see the situation is different.

    • Manolo says:

      Wow… This is probably one of the most naive statements I’ve seen regarding Duterte’s unconscionable action.

  12. jBvamps says:

    Mayor Sarah Duterte’s act indeed brought many people to wonder about her leadership style. However I would still consider it. Leadership for many spectators is something more of an idealism, ideal leader, the ideal response of the leader, the ideal action of the leader and what the heck, even the ideal ideals of the leader are covered by the people. Take note, PEOPLE, hundreds, thousands, millions of individual opinions and idealism of a good leader (Singular). Sarah Duterte may not be perfect for some, but still she is human and someone who is willing to take the bullshit from millions for the sake of the same bickering millions. By the way the statement the leaders should never use violence is overrated. In leadership, the use of violence is always an option, an option reserved for the most extreme cases, and how do we define “extreme cases”? We don’t, those in the position do. All in all, I do not accept violence the solution of all things, but it is still a necessary evil in the most extreme cases. That is society and its government. Read the history of all things, violence is present in different kinds of shade.

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  1. [...] spite of this, he stood up for the sheriff in a way that nobody has ever considered in this whole unfortunate mess: the judiciary and the executive branches of government are necessarily [...]

  2. [...] The paper was alluding to Mayor Sara Duterte’s notoriety (or popularity, if you think the mayor’s violence was acceptable), acquired from the very start of this [...]


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