Checkpoints should be vendor-free

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte defended a Task Force Davao (TFD) official who was relieved from his post for allegedly berating three vendors in Toril District.

He, instead, ordered the removal if all vendors at checkpoints in the metropolis as soon as possible.

Read related story: Task Force Davao officer sacked for cursing


“You (vendors) are trading on a dangerous ground, kasi always target ang military. Tama yung sa military and I support the Task Force Davao,” Duterte said in an interview at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang.

Duterte said checkpoints, especially at the entrance/exit points of Davao City, must be vendor-free since the TFD is imposing heightened security alert amid "terror threats" in the city.

Lieutenant Colonel Nestor Mondia, commander of TFD's Security Company, who conducts checkpoints in Binugao, was relieved and was replaced by Capt. Richard Duculan, following the complaints filed by vendors identified as Grace Tapat, Junalyn Dalian, and Rolly Diego before the Toril Police Station.

"I leave it to the military to decide. Pero ako bago yan sila naglagay ng checkpoint diyan, ayaw ko talaga ng mga tao diyan kasi sumasakay sila maybe because they see an opportunity. The problem is pag maraming tao doon, pareha nung sa (Sasa) wharf (bombing), hindi naman yan sila ma check ng military kasi hindi naman sila mga pasahero," Duterte said.

"They have to go out. They really have to go out. Ayaw ko na nandiyan sila kasi baka madamay sila. Kasi naman checkpoint yan ng military eh," he added.

Duterte also expressed his disappointment that soldiers are being "bullied and taken for granted."

"Yung mga sundalo binubully na. Bakit ganyan yan? Hindi naman ako papayag ng ganyan. That's why I am asking the vendors to go out immediately ASAP para walang gulo," he said.

Duterte said he values the existence of each TFD member in all checkpoints since it was his mandate to protect the city from any danger.
He said he believes that the relieved TFD official was only doing his job.

In an earlier report, the three vendors said Mondia informed all vendors in Binugao of their last day to vend in the area.

The vendors, however, appealed to the TFD officer to reconsider his order since it was the only livelihood they could ever have.

However, the vendors claimed that Mondia got irked and berated them, using cusswords.

TFD commander Colonel Macairog Alberto said the vendors are only allowed to sell their goods after the task force checked the vehicles.

While Duterte defended Mondia, it can also be recalled that he reminded military and police officers and members to show respect upon imposing checkpoints.

"Magsaludo kayo kasi yang taong kaharap niyo yan ang nagpapasweldo sa inyo," Duterte said in a press conference with Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Mar Roxas held at Marco Polo Hotel on June 29.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 11, 2014.

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