DAVAO CITY, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – The Davao City Council has declared opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV “persona non grata” after the lawmaker called President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown as the most dangerous city in the Philippines.
The council approved the resolution filed by Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag on Tuesday, February 13, during a regular session.
In pushing for declaring the senator as persona non grata in Davao City, Al-ag said in his resolution: "Mr Trillanes, Dabawenyos are furious and angry with your words and with your action….We do not need you here in Davao City. You are unwelcome and unwanted in our city of Davao. You have not done anything good at all to our city!"
Al-ag said that Trillanes, a staunch Duterte critic, made the claim during a recent forum attended by members of the Filipino community in Chicago.
During the event, which was recorded and uploaded on social media, Trillanes called the city as the most dangerous city in the Philippines.
Trillanes said Davao City was number one in terms of murder and rape cases when Duterte served as mayor, and that residents there were “so brainwashed into believing” that the city was among the safest places to live in the world.
He said Trillanes' statement was “an insult to the 1.6 million Dabawenyos who are working hard every day to make our city safe.”
In his resolution, Al-ag urged those who were in the audience to visit Davao to see for themselves that the city is safe, and if any of them would "feel even an iota of danger," Al-ag would refund all their "travel expenses plus pocket money."
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is declared ‘persona non grata’ by Davao City council @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/kOsTHMuAFn
— Mick Basa (@MickBasa) February 13, 2018
Trillanes, in response, said, "The truth, definitely, hurts."
"My statement was based on the December 2015 statistics of the PNP that Davao City has the highest incidence of murder and second highest in rape. The people of Davao either know it but tolerate it out of fear or they've actually believed the lie that was fed to them that Davao City is the safest city in the world," he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Trillanes joins the list of personalities declared persona non grata by the Davao City Council because of making offensive remarks about the city.
The others include comedian Ramon Bautista who joked during a local festival in 2014 that many women in the city were " hipon (shrimp)" which is a derogatory term for a person with a sexually appealing body but with a less attractive face.
In 2010, the city council declared as persona non grata then Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy Representative Pastor Alcover Jr and Bantay Representative Jovito Palparan, a retired military general who was involved in the military's counter insurgency campaign, for saying that Davao City was a breeding ground for communist insurgents. – Rappler.com