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Dutertes clash over coal-fired power plant

Davao Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterta and his daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte, find themselves on opposite sides of the fence over a controversial coal-fired power plant being proposed for their city. The city council overrode a veto by the mayor that would have stopped the plant from going up. (photo by Keith Bacongco,
The online news portal of TV5

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davao City Vice Rodrigo Duterte defended the decision of the city council to override the veto of his daughter Sara, who is mayor, of the ordinance reclassifying land in Barangay Binugao from protected medium industrial zone to protected heavy industrial zone to allow the construction of a proposed 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant.

The elder Duterte said the override was expected because the council had already voted in favor of the power plant.

“They voted in favor of the project before, it is expected that they will override it (veto). Do you think they will change their minds?” Duterte told reporters.  

He also lashed at the critics of the proposed coal-fired power plant, telling them to carefully study the technology first.

“To those who are very vocal, you don’t know everything in this world. If you think you are intelligent, we are more intelligent than you,” he said.

Mayor Duterte expressed frustration over the decision of the city council.  

“I’m frustrated, I’m sad …They should have heeded the veto because it is a powerful message that the city mayor is against their measure,” she told reporters on Tuesday, a day after 21 of the 22 councilors present at the session voted to override her veto.

Councilor Paolo Duterte, an ex-officio member representing the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC), abstained.

When she issued her veto, the mayor said she also told the councilors to review all the materials related to the coal-fired power plant’s technology.

“But apparently, on the day itself I issued the veto, (it was) the same day also that the reports came out that they will override the veto,” she said Duterte-Carpio.

“Let history judge them na lang,” she added.

Last week, her father had already hinted of the override, saying the city council had the final say and leave the mayor no choice but to implement the project.

While Mayor Duterte acknowledged that the councilors were just exercising democracy, she said she had yet to consult the city legal counsel to explore other options to block the power plant.

The override has earned the council the ire of groups opposed to the power plant, with some 200 of them staging a protest at city hall as the session took pace.