MANILA—The camp of PDP-LABAN standard bearer Rodrigo Duterte vehemently denied claims that Sen. Grace Poe and her vice presidential running mate Chiz Escudero were barred from conducting a rally in Davao City.
This accusation is “simply baseless if not ridiculous,” Peter Laviña, Duterte’s spokesperson, said.
“Their organizers are lazy. They did not do their job. That’s not our fault or the city government of Davao’s fault,” he added.
Groups conducting rallies in Davao City’s public parks are required to pay only PHP150 for use of electricity.
They are also required to coordinate with the Traffic Management Center and the Central 911 for standby emergency unit. The processing of permits is usually completed within a day.
“We learned that there was an application, but this application was not pursued. Hindi na bumalik ang nag-file. Tamad, napagod siguro o naghahanap ng rason. Kaninong kasalanan yan?” Laviña pointed out.
He said it is not the nature and character of Duterte — or Davao City for that matter — to curtail the freedom of groups and people to use public spaces.
“Davao City is known for its respect and tolerance to groups and people who want to exercise their freedom and use public spaces to protest and express grievances or political views or religious beliefs peacefully,” Laviña pointed out.
Even progressive organizations are free to use parks and other public spaces to conduct rallies in Davao City.
“It is unfortunate that the senator’s camp is twisting the facts, making it appear like a permit was not granted because of politics,” Laviña disclosed.