Dutertes squabble over ‘hipon’ joke

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The Ramon Bautista fiasco is far from over — even after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has decided to bury the hatchet with the controversial comedian.

Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte said he respects the decision of his father who said Bautista is still very much welcome in Davao City, despite the strongly-worded council resolution that declared Bautista a persona non grata.

But the younger Duterte also reminded the mayor to also respect the City Council resolution whichemanated from a “hipon” joke deemed offensive and sexist my many women in Davao, among the former mayor Inday Sara Duterte, another member of the influential family.

In a statement Wednesday evening, Mayor Duterte said that “when a man humbles himself and apologizes for uttering a slur, that itself erases the wrong. To nurture residual hate against the guy is a human frailty.”

A day earlier, Mayor Duterte had a phone conversation with Bautista with the mayor assuring the comedian that everything is water under the bridge now.

The mayor advised Bautista not to mind the persona non grata resolution of the City Council against him and all he has to say when he comes back to Davao is that he has the approval of the mayor.

The mayor told Bautista that the comedian’s public apology is enough and that he knows how difficult it is to apologize.

But in a released statement Thursday morning, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, however, reminded the mayor that “he should respect the decision of the City Council because the body represents the people of Davao City who voted for him for decades”.

“The mayor of Davao City can always welcome anybody he wants on a personal level. But as long as Davao City is concerned, Mr. Ramon Bautista is unwelcome here in our city because of the persona non grata resolution,” the vice mayor stated.

In a reply, Mayor Duterte also reminded the vice mayor and the City Council “that their decision to declare Ramon Bautista persona non grata is a City Council resolution and not an ordinance”.

“It does not bind me and everyone else who disagree with it. The essence of a democracy is the right to dissent. As Voltaire would put it, “I may disagree by what you say, but I will defend your right to say it”. For your education,” the mayor said.

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