A Philippines mayor, Sara Duterte, made international headlines today after she threw and landed several punches onto a court official sheriff during a tour at a demolition site in Agdao. The mayor's attack was caught on camera and has become an internet sensation on YouTube.
The video clip shows Duterte venting her frustration on the progress at a shanties demolition site. Abe Andres, the sheriff in charge, refused Duterte's request for postponing demolition along with a two hour halt in order to organize relief for the families being removed. The mayor lost her temper and victimized Andres in front of a crowd and cameras.
Duterte held a press conference to apologize and accept consequences for her actions.
I will face the consequences and will wait for the call of the investigators, she said. I did not want it to happen, Duterte said of the violent dispersal...If I were to describe my feelings at that time, they were of frustration. It was incorrect and I hope they accept my apologies, said Duterte.
Abe Andres did commented that he was only doing his job of performing the demolition and that he doesn't have plans of taking legal action against the mayor's attack.
Sara Duterte was the local city mayor who is currently on a 5 day leave as investigations begin. Duterte's father Rodrigo Duterte, who is currently Vice Mayor, will replace her position during the leave. Rodrigo Duterte was the former long time mayor of Agdao.
Supporters are emerging to defend Sara Duterte's actions including her father, who advised her not to apologize for her actions. Others such as the Commission on Human Rights showed their support by saying Duterte stood up for the people living in that area.
We should look at it in a broader humanitarian context. The mayor had been out distributing food to victims of the recent flooding in the city when she was confronted by this development. She could not afford to lose more lives if a riot happened in Agdao. People always come to her for help, said the commission's director, Alberto Sipaco Jr.
Duterte could face consequences of losing her position if guilty of abusing her power.
Watch the video below of Duterte's 1-2-3-4 punch on local sheriff Abe Andres.