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Davao bets trade barbs on kickbacks

() - May 1, 2001 - 12:00am
DAVAO CITY — The exchange of barbs between first district Rep. Rodrigo Duterte and incumbent Mayor Benjamin de Guzman, who are slugging it out in the mayoral race, has shifted from allegations of mistresses to kickbacks from various government projects.

Duterte and De Guzman, at the start of the campaign last month, accused each other of womanizing, and lately, of receiving kickbacks from different projects and programs of the city government.

Duterte alleged that De Guzman pocketed huge kickbacks from the construction of the Artica Sports Dome, among other projects.

De Guzman, on the other hand, accused the congressman of pocketing funds allotted for peace and order projects when he was the city mayor.

Duterte and De Guzman used to be close political allies, with the latter serving as city administrator when the former was mayor from 1988 to 1995. Duterte ran for Congress in 1998 and won, but is seeking to regain City Hall.

Local political observers are still uncertain who will win the mayoral race, saying it is a very close fight. — Edith Regalado

ARTICA SPORTS DOME CITY HALL DE GUZMAN DUTERTE DUTERTE AND DE GUZMAN EDITH REGALADO MAYOR BENJAMIN RODRIGO DUTERTE
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