By Yas Ocampo
DAVAO CITY — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has been declared persona non grata by the Davao City Council following the surfacing of a video of the legislator declaring the city unsafe.
The city council declared Trillanes persona non grata, one of the legislative body’s declarative powers, upon the motion of Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag.
Trillanes said Davao City ranked No. 1 in murder and No. 2 in terms of rape statistics, calling Davao City “the most Dangerous City in the Philippines.”
“As a Dabawenyo, I take offense to the declaration of Mr. Trillanes. This statement is offensive, malicious and pure lies. In short, this statement is not true. This is fake news,” Al-ag said.
“Mr. Trillanes went to the United States of America just to portray Davao City as a dangerous place – a place full of criminals, a city of murderers, a city of rapists. Worse, he even described the Dabawenyos as [brainwashed],” Al-ag said.
Al-ag cited the awards given by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) conferring the city with a Seal of Good Local Governance.
“We even received 5-million pesos cash reward from DILG as part of the award,” Al-ag said.
The DILG awards the SGLG in terms of business climate, environmental management, and peace and order.
“So sino ba ang paniniwalaan natin: ang fake news ni Mr. Trillanes o ang DILG? I think Mr. Trillanes is confused about his role as a senator of our country. A senator is mandated by our constitution to legislate policies that preserve lives of the Filipino,” Al-ag said.
“What are you doing, Mr. Senator? Instead of preserving our lives, you are destroying our lives, you are destroying our city. Instead of protecting the Dabawenyos, you are mocking the intelligence of Dabawenyos.”
Al-ag called the declaration “unacceptable.”
“This is an insult to the 1.6-million Dabawenyos who are working hard every day to make our city safe.”
Al-ag challenged those who attended the forum to visit the city.
“Try riding our taxis, our jeepneys… try walking in our streets in the middle of the night, try eating in our restaurants and karenderias, try going to our police stations. And if you will feel even an iota of danger, if you feel and think that Davao is a city of murderers and rapists as what Mr. Trillanes declared, I will refund all your travel expenses plus pocket money going back to Chicago,” Al-ag said.
Trillanes has repeatedly used the crime statistics in his arsenal of attacks against President Duterte.