Roxas: Peaceful Davao City? It's a myth

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Liberal Party's standard bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II (L) and PDP-Laban's presidential bet Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte (R).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Presidential candidates were invited to speak before members of the Galing Pook Foundation, a group of good governance advocates, on Friday (December 11).

However, only Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and Vice President Jejomar Binay were present at the event. Sen. Grace Poe said she had prior engagements, while Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte attended a Christmas party in Pampanga.

But that didn’t spare the mayor from potshots during the forum — at least from Roxas.

Related: Duterte a threat to Poe and Binay, not to Roxas?

Roxas debunked the perception that Davao City is one of the safest in the world, saying that records of the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that it was ranked fourth in the cities with the highest crime incidence in 2014.

"Myth, kathang isip lang, imagination itong payapa sa Davao City," he said.

[Translation: "It's a myth, only imagination that Davao City is peaceful."]

Related: LP stalwart says Duterte is the 'man to beat' in 2016

Roxas also revealed why he’s against what seems to be the policy of the tough-talking mayor.

Hindi ako naniniwala na might is right. Hindi ako naniniwala that the gun trumps all others. At hindi ako naniniwala in summary justice, in  one-man justice," said Roxas.

[Translation: "I don't think might is right. I don't believe that gun trumps all others. And I don't believe in summary justice, and one-man justice."]

Roxas said he has asked Duterte about allegedly killing people, but said the mayor denied it.

Binay an 'expert' on graft, corruption, says Roxas

Binay visited students from Silliman University in Dumaguete to teach them the difference between graft and corruption.

Roxas, on Thursday (December 10), said it was good of Binay to discuss those issues since he is an "expert" on those matters.

“Well maganda na nagpaliwanag siya tungkol sa graft at corruption dahil siya ang expert. Tanggapin natin ang kanyang paliwanag," said Roxas.

[Translation: "Well, it's good that he explained about graft and corruption because he is an expert on it. Let's hear his explanation."]

Related: VP Binay tells students: No to corruption, anti-dynasty law

This, however, didn’t sit well with Binay.

Sagutin niya muna ang aming mga sinasabing pagkukulang. Hindi sinasagot, binabaling niya sa pagbibintang. Labis na nagpapatunay lang na kasama talaga siya sa conspiracy na demolition by perception," Binay said.

"Sagutin nalang niya kasi imbis na manunuro siya na kung sino sino at iba ang sisisihin niya. Totoo ba o hindi na overpriced itong building na ito? Totoo ba o hindi na overpriced ang mga cake? Simpleng simple.”

[Translation: "He should say first what my shortcomings are. He isn't answering... he's deflecting the accusations. This only means that he's involved in this conspiracy of demolition by perception."]

Roxas and Binay didn't bump into each other on Friday. The vice president spoke first while Roxas waited in a holding room until it was his turn to speak.

Both candidates talked about their plans to develop the countryside. Binay, meanwhile, wasn’t spared from queries related to the corruption allegations against him.