THE camp of presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte said that Sen. Grace Poe and her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, have nothing to blame but their “lazy organizers” for their failure to secure permits for a campaign rally supposed to have been held Thursday in Davao City.
Peter Laviña, Duterte’s spokesman, said the Poe-Escudero tandem would have been able to hold a campaign rally had their organizers secured the needed permits.
“Their organizers are lazy. They did not do their job. That’s not our fault or the city government of Davao’s fault,” Laviña said in a statement.
Laviña explained that groups conducting rallies in Davao City’s public parks are required to pay only P150 for the use of electricity and 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, he said.
“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? [The persons who filed did not return. Maybe they were lazy, tired or just looking for an excuse. Whose fault is that]?” he added.
Laviña stressed that it is not the nature and character of Duterte, or of 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,” he said.
“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 added.