Sen. Risa Hontiveros. INQUIRER.net file photo / CATHY MIRANDA
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday lashed back at Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for insulting her when she demanded the resignation of Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Acosta.
Hontiveros called for the resignation of Acosta following the measles outbreak in some parts of the country due to the lawyer’s “scaremongering and politically-motivated investigations on the Dengvaxia issue.”
READ: Hontiveros to Acosta: ‘Resign your post’
Sara, however, turned tha table and said it should be Hontiveros who should resign and not Acosta.
READ: Sara slams Hontiveros: Stop criticizing, think of solutions to measles outbreak
But Hontiveros remained unfazed by the younger Duterte’s tirades.
“I would like to thank Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte for once again taking the trouble to share her opinion about my work on democracy and human rights,” she said in a statement.
“Every time she attacks me, she validates my work and vindicates my positions on important issues. Every insult from the Mayor is a reading on the barometer I can use, second to none, to confirm how effective my office is in advancing democratic interests and goals,” she added.
“Sa bawat banat niya, nalalaman natin na tama ang ating ginagawa.”
The senator recalled how Sara had “ridiculed my opposition to the lowering of the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR), even kindly advising” me to walk the streets to “know the reality on the ground.”
“Excuse me, I started my work life as a community organizer among farmers and fisherfolk 30 years ago in Rizal Province,” he said.
“And unfortunately for the good Mayor, the recent Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showed that the majority of Filipinos oppose the lowering of the MACR. How’s that for a reality check? Pardon my French, but I’m not the one with my head in my ass,” he added.
In her defense of Acosta, the presidential daughter also said the senator should stop criticizing and instead think of solutions.
“First, calling for Acosta’s resignation is part of the solution. Acosta’s resignation would remove the pseudo-science, fear-mongering and lies that hijacked the Dengvaxia discourse,” Hontiveros said.
She said “it would help ensure an impartial investigation of the issue, end speculations that the matter is being politicized and prevent further panic and fear from being inflicted on the public.”
“For someone who is supposedly against incompetence, the Mayor is surprisingly hostile to my call,” she said.
She said it was “saddening that Mayor Sara can call for my resignation but not of those who have condoned the killing of tens of thousands, those who have eroded public trust in the government’s vaccination program, those who have plundered the nation’s coffers, those who have surrendered our sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea and those who have collaborated with the Marcoses in revising history.”
“What’s keeping Mayor Sara from going after these people who are the real dangers to our nation and society?” she asked.
“As for solutions, my legislative track record speaks for itself. From the Mental Health Law, the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, the Strengthened Anti-hospital Deposit Law, the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act, the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy law, the First 1000 Days Law up to the Positive Discipline Act, we have done the hard work. We have delivered,” she said.
“We do this even as we continue to add our voice of dissent to hold this government to account and defend democracy,” she added. /jpv
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.