Duterte: Bautista always welcome in Davao; apology is enough

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

DAVAO -- Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday that comedian Ramon Bautista is still welcome in Davao City despite the City Council declaring him as persona non grata on Tuesday.

Bautista was declared persona non grata, which literally means "an unwelcome person," after he made a joke describing the women of Davao City as "hipon," a Filipino pejorative that means a person with a sexy body but with an ugly face.

He now joined Party-list Representatives Pastor Alcover and Retired General Jovito Palparan in the persona non grata list of Davao City.


But for Mayor Duterte, Bautista's apology is already enough.

"Ang taong naghingi ng patawad, okay na. Sorry is sorry. Ano pa ba ang kailangan niyo sa kanya. He is always welcome here. He was man enough to admit it," the mayor said.

Duterte, however, also said earlier that had he been at the Kadayawan Invasion party where Bautista committed the slur, he could have slapped him.

The "hipon scandal" broke in social media, specifically on Facebook, after former mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio posted and ranted about how Bautista behaved during the Kadayawan Invasion over the weekend.

Bautista already apologized to the public on the same event.

"I'm here in front of you to say my apologies because sinabi ko maraming hipon dito. Oo nga, nahihiya po ako sa inyo kasi you welcomed me here sa inyong beautiful city. Andito po ako lagi at nag eenjoy po ako dito para po masabi yung mga bagay na yun na marami sa inyo ang na offend. I say my sincere apologies. Sana po matanggap niyo," Bautista said.

Watch this video:

But the 17th City Council passed on Tuesday a resolution declaring the comedian as a persona non grata because of his alleged "abusive behavior."

Authored by Councilor Tomas Monteverde IV, the approved resolution read: "Mr. Bautista willfully and arrogantly intended to propagate a culture of sexism and male chauvinism that promotes rude and disrespectful behavior against women."

"The Women Development Code of Davao City defines Mr. Bautista's actions under other forms of sexual harassment. There is a need to make Mr. Bautista understand that as a visitor of a place he should be mindful of decency and propriety," the resolution read.

It added: "There is a need to let the world know and those that employ Mr. Bautista that he is an extremely corrupt influence to the youth and his abusive behavior should not be tolerated."

The resolution also provided that aside from calling Dabawenyas "hipon," Bautista also posted in his Instagram account a picture of himself with his arms draped over three young women attending the Kadayawan Invasion rave party last Saturday night and wrote the caption: "Ito ang kabataan ngayon hihi. #Kadayawan #PasisikatinKitaHijaFoundation."

The City Council said it will also provide copies of the resolution to ayosdito.ph, Napoleon Nazareno of Smart Communications, and Andrew Santiago of Magic 89.9 radio station where Bautista is under contract.

During the "Pulong pulong ni Pulong" on Tuesday, Vice Mayor Paolo "Pulong" Duterte said the council earlier decided not to pass a resolution against Bautista but women's group, Gabriela, in particular, urged them to do so.

"They told me it was unacceptable. So I personally asked the councilors on their take. They all agreed that we will pass a resolution declaring him as persona non grata," Duterte said.

"Ok na unta to iyang pag pangayo ug pasaylo pero daghan kababainhan diri sa Davao nga miingon dili to enough," he said.

In the legal sense, a person declared as persona non grata is no longer welcome in a country or specific place and "is usually forced to return to his or her native country/place."

Upon the declaration of the City Council on Tuesday, Duterte-Carpio sent a text message to Sun.Star Davao.

"Here's my note: Ramon Bautista, if I do not tell you that you are wrong, then who will? I have 2 small children growing up in a society where abuse, parental neglect, corruption, injustice and senseless killings are as common as candies on the store shelf. Totoo meron mga babae na hindi desirable ang mukha at napaka seksi ng katawan, pero kelangan mo ba turuan ang mga bata kung paano mangantiyaw ng Hipon? Kung sa darating na panahon magkaroon ka ng babaeng anak na ganito, don't teach her to roll with the punches of bullying, teach her to stand up and fight, teach her respect. Comedian ka pala, the great comedians that I know use their wit and do not toilet trash women. You have the power of influence, use it positively."

She also posted the same message to her Facebook and Instagram account.

Councilor Leah Librado-Yap said they will look into the possibility of filing a criminal case against Bautista.

"We will see. Dili lang man kadto atong basehan. Kinahanglan pa nato ug mga datos. So wala pa nako siya ginahuna-huna karon. Ang immediate action is to declare him persona non grata," she said.

Meanwhile, Bautista apologized anew on his social media accounts.

When the declaration was announced, he once again posted a status on Twitter, saying:

Alcover and Palparan, meanwhile, were declared as persona non grata during the 15th City Council because of their alleged attempts to ruin the reputation of the city. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 20, 2014.

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