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Mayoral rivals in Davao City turn to mudslinging

() - April 19, 2001 - 12:00am
DAVAO CITY — The intense mayoral rivalry between first district Rep. Rodrigo Duterte and incumbent Mayor Benjamin de Guzman is heating up with both camps practically throwing dirt at each other with issues ranging from peace and order to womanizing.

Duterte and De Guzman used to be formidable allies who have become bitter political foes, and are now calling each other names in their bid to woo the city’s more than 500,000 voters.

Both have accused each other of being Judases for allegedly having betrayed, at times, the trust of their constituents.

Archdiocesan priests have already called the attention of the two politicians to their mudslinging, asking them to instead focus on more pressing issues and their respective platforms of government.

"They should not resort to name-calling. What they should do is present their platforms of government and accomplishments," said Fr. Pete Lamata, the archdiocese’s social action director.

Morality is another issue which the two rivals have raised against each other.

With the way the campaign is proceeding, it appears that De Guzman is hell-bent on depriving Duterte of the chance to regain City Hall. Duterte served as mayor for three consecutive terms until 1998 when he ran for Congress.

"Duterte still has the forces. We are very strong even in the hinterlands," said one of his supporters.

However, a political leader of De Guzman’s Alyansa sa Katawhan sa Dabaw said the tide has turned in the incumbent mayor’s favor.

ALYANSA CITY HALL DE GUZMAN DUTERTE DUTERTE AND DE GUZMAN MAYOR BENJAMIN PETE LAMATA RODRIGO DUTERTE
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