The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - A swindler who duped almost 300 Dabawenyos wanting to have their own homes angered Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who allegedly forced him to eat part of the fake documents he has been showing to his victims as proof that they can be legitimate owners of a property in Davao. The vice mayor later denied it was paper; he said he gave the man some gum, because "he had bad breath."
Manolito Gavas was arrested by police Sunday and among his visitors at the Talomo Police was Duterte.
A native of Bohol, Gavas, slumped on a chair, ate the paper as instructed by Duterte.
On Tuesday afternoon, however, Duterte sort of denied he forced Gavas to chew the fake documents. The denial came with a smirk.
Instead, the vice mayor said, he gave the man a piece of gum.
“Wala man nako pakan-a og papel. Gihatagan nako og chewing gum kay duol kaayo mi. Bad breath. Gihatagan nako og chewing gum (I did not feed him paper. But I gave him chewing gum because we were standing close to each other and he had bad breath. I gave him chewing gum),” Duterte said.
But Gavas admitted he was told to eat the fake document. However, he said, he wanted to forget about it.
“Dili na nato na padakuon. Nangayo naman ko og apology kay Vice Mayor gabii. Wana naman to’y problema…Ako na tong dawaton kay tinuod man nga nakadistorbo ko sa atong siyudad (Let us not blow that out of proportion. I have apologized to Vice Mayor last night. There is nothing to worry about. I have accepted what happened to me because admittedly, I have caused trouble here),” he said.
Duterte said Gavas has been giving the public false hopes that they can just occupy public properties in the city.
“I asked him whether his documents also covered the Davao Mental Hospital and he said yes. Well I told him—it is there that he is supposed to go,” Duterte said.
Around 60 informal settlers have erected their houses on a vacant lot in Victoria Village in Matina upon the instruction of Gavas. Incensed by this, Mayor Inday Sara Duterte instructed the police to demolish the structures and arrest Gavas.
He is now facing four criminal charges for trespassing, malicious mischief, robber in uninhabited place and grave threat.
One victim said Gavas made them believe that they can own the land in Victoria Village in exchange for P4,000.
Gavas introduced himself as chairman and president of Ambassador for Christ of Don Alejandro San Pedro Foundation.