Davaoeña steps up to defend Davao City and President Duterte

Facebook user who goes by the name Shanez CT, took to the popular media site to air her thoughts regarding the issues that have surrounded the relationship of Davaoeños to President Rodrigo Duterte.
President Rodrigo Duterte and Shanez CT / Photo credit tot the owner

In a rather lengthy post, Shanez goes to detail on how then-Mayor Duterte had made the city a safer place for his people.

She said that before the president had lead their city, they have lived in fear because of the many incidents of armed fighting that happened in her area. She says that when she was little she had lived in fear of being shot because of the many personal experiences she had.


She adds how most of these incidents happened because of the New People’s Army and other rebel groups that plagued Mindanao during the Martial Law era.

She says it was only Duterte who was able to provide safety in her city, with the help of the people in Davao.

She calls on the people to not pity Davaoeños because they never felt that they were oppressed under then-Mayor Duterte. Shanez adds that not all people in Davao in fact support Duterte, but they know his contributions.

Shanez ends her post saying that admist all the negative backlash she is happy she is able to tuck her kids in at night not worrying they suffer the same things she did when there was no Duterte.

Read her full post here:

"This rather lengthy post is in response to those people who have the means to go around and find audiences who willingly listen to their lies about Davao City. I am not one who fiercely defends the President as I know there are many out there who do that for him. But when you malign my city and my people, just because you want to make the President look bad, I will not hesitate to speak my mind. Because maybe, just maybe, people would understand where I and many Davaoenos are coming from.


I have friends who hate President Duterte and I truly respect their opinions. I won’t even try to change their minds because they have their personal reasons, something I would totally understand if I were put in their shoes.

But I am walking in MY own size 5 shoes and I believe that as a Davaoena, I need to speak up to defend the city and many of its people who have been caught in the crossfire of hurtful words and yes, insults.

Never has Davao City been cast into the limelight (both in good and bad ways) as it has now. The last time I remember Davao City being given this much (negative) attention was during its dark days in the 1970s and the 1980s.

I’ve been reading praises which makes my heart swell with pride. But what makes my heart ache is when people who do not know us and what we’ve been through, virtually throw mud in our faces, insulting us as a city, as a people. We Davaoenos are a proud people because we have lived through so much and survived. We are who we are now because of the sacrifices and pains we had to go through together and we have emerged beautifully from the rubble.

If you have not lived here from the 1970s up to the present, please do not judge us as “brain-dead” zombies, who blindly follow a cult leader. You will never truly understand the journey we’ve been through.


You might be surprised to know that many Davaoenos are just as smart as, or maybe even smarter than many well-heeled, highly-educated individuals from other parts of the country. We too use our brains as well as our hearts when we make decisions for the good of ourselves and our families.

I was born in 1970. I grew up in this city and just like many Davaoenos, I have lived through our darkest days.

Before Duterte, hearing about people shot here and there was part of our daily existence. Armed men would casually walk up to a cop or a civilian, shoot him in the head, and just as casually, would walk away. Witnesses would duck for cover, but no one dared to look at the gunman’s face. That was forbidden. No one dared go after the killer. Reading about bodies “salvaged” from Davao River and empty, grassy lots in Bacaca and Diversion Road was everyday news. People lived in fear but we tried to live our lives as normally as possible. That was our normal back then.

Let me ask you, have you ever wondered how it felt like worrying about your parents’ safety at a tender age of 7 because they had to traverse dark roads going home? I have. My parents were chased by a black unmarked Volkswagen for a good 30 minutes before finally finding refuge.


I recall being pulled into the bathroom, crouching and praying in fear on the cold tiles, as a gun battle ensued just outside our home in the farm between bad elements and security guards. My Mama had to tell us that soldiers were just killing the big bad wolf, when in truth, she was worried sick about my Papa who was out there, somewhere close by.

I know what it’s like being roused from a deep sleep and getting all bundled up in blankets in the middle of the night as my Ninong took us to a safer place for fear of a rebel attack near the place where we were staying, as huge military tanks rolled by. When I see the pastel-striped blanket I was wrapped in, now folded neatly on my daughter’s bed, I shudder at a memory I have not shared, even with close friends.

In the late 1970s, I had an uncle who was found slumped on the steering wheel of his car, stabbed to death by drug addicts. I’ve had another uncle shot in Church; luckily he survived. Yet another uncle was gunned down (ambushed is the proper term); unfortunately, he didn’t make it.

Several of my father’s colleagues at work were mercilessly threatened and killed one by one, as the company they worked for refused to pay the NPA’s revolutionary taxes. We would see the big bosses quickly driving by, trailed by pick-up trucks with heavily-armed bodyguards. Thankfully, my father, who was not a big boss and had no bodyguards, was spared.

One night, while having dinner, we heard the grenade explosion at the nearby San Pedro Cathedral. Mama had to rush to the hospital to attend to the victims, despite our pleas for her to stay home.

Three times, thieves jumped over the fence into our family compound in the city, the first time, stabbing Nong Manuel, our then 60+ year-old watchman before fleeing. The second and third times, they were chased by Boy Scouts, policemen and a group of civilians, and were luckily caught. When I peered out the window, I saw bloody faces.


When the clock struck 6:00 pm and our parents had not yet arrived, I remember my brother and I standing by the window, waiting, pacing, almost-crying, worried where they were at that “late hour”.

If these are just stories for you, they were real for many of us. THEY WERE REAL FOR ME.

I know many Davaoenos had been through something similar to this, maybe even a lot worse. Now, have you?

If you haven’t, ask yourselves if you have the right to judge and label us the way you do.

Yes, the whole Philippines suffered from Martial Law…Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Interestingly, Davao was in a tight fix because as the country was oppressed by the government, Davaoenos were caught in the crossfire between the government, the NPAs and the BMAs. We were oppressed from ALL sides, just in case you didn’t know.
A company of New People's Army guerrillas in Eastern Visayas. | Photo: Karlo Mongaya. “

Yes, some may claim that there were NPAs operating in other parts of the country, but they were not as active as they were in Davao City, which they chose as the training ground for their sparrow units. Hence, the infamous term “Killing Fields.” In other words, to get back at the government they couldn’t reach in Manila, the rebels turned many Davaoenos into sacrificial lambs. In our midst was a “laboratory for urban guerrilla warfare.” Innocent cops were their favourite targets as communist hit squads killed them for their guns (agaw-armas), thus policemen had to be taken off the streets. In an already chaotic city, crime flourished almost everywhere with no law enforcers in sight.

Thankfully those days are way behind us and we have come a long way since then.

It took a strong leader and a cooperative citizenry to rise above it all. He had to clean up a dirty yard for his citizens to live in and we all just had to do our part.

Mayor Duterte didn’t do it alone. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Many other heroes paved the way. Mayor Duterte followed through and the Davaoenos worked WITH him to attain what we have now. Yes, many ranted and raved, whined and complained whenever a new ordinance was implemented…the speed limit, the liquor curfew, the curfew for minors, the firecracker ban, the no-smoking ordinance. But, like any disciplinarian, he stood pat on his decision and now, most Davaoenos dutifully obey the city’s laws.

Are we oppressed? WE MOST DEFINITELY ARE NOT! Do we live under a dictatorship? WE MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT!

So to those fabulous fiction writers, PLEASE STOP SPREADING LIES MAKING US APPEAR AS PITIFUL SLAVES OF A RUTHLESS LEADER!

Davao City hated Martial Law in the 1970s and early 1980s just like any Manileno or Filipino. When Yellow Friday was launched nationwide, Davaoenos wore yellow shirts and marched through the downtown streets, chanting “Sobra Na, Tama Na, Palitan Na”, singing “Bayan Ko”. We joined noise barrages and did what everyone else in Manila did to show our unity as a country.
Rallyists encircled human rights lawyers and mass leaders to protect them from being arrested during the Welga ng Bayan in 1983 in Jones Circle, Davao City.

When Marcos left on the night of February 25, 1986, I was reading a Sweet Dreams book in my room when I heard the church bells tolling and people shouting outside. I rushed out to see that people were converging in the streets. Since my Papa was already sleeping, we snuck out in our pajamas in his pick-up truck, with my cousin at the wheel and I was overwhelmed by the number of people dancing in the streets, hugging each other, overjoyed.

We were in Daphne’s house when the Senate refused to open the controversial envelope during Estrada’s impeachment trial and we were among the first to go to Rizal Park where a small crowd was already gathering. We celebrated EDSA 2, just like the rest of the Philippines.

We hate oppression just as much as every Filipino does.

Now, would we be crazy to go back to those days which we ourselves abhorred? I think not. If Mayor Duterte is such a terrible person, don’t you think it was so easy to kick him out of office by simply not voting for him?

The man hardly campaigned whenever he ran for Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Congressman in the past. I don’t recall seeing campaign posters in the streets. Why is that? Simple…MOST people of Davao love him. They don’t fear him. They love him.

(Ok, I know. Not all Davaoenos like the Mayor. Their reasons I will never question as I respect them as well.)

So, please, don’t go around claiming that we live in fear of a man who has shaken the status quo of Philippine politics.

The man isn’t the typical smooth-talking politician we have been accustomed to who says what we want to hear. He says what we DO NOT want to hear and yes, the truth hurts…a lot, sometimes. He is rough around the edges; I would cringe at every cuss word, my toes would curl with every controversial statement. Sometimes, my heart would drop to the floor. There are times when I don’t agree with what he says and does. But at the end of the day, he delivers. And my decision to support him, despite his flaws, doesn’t make me less of a Filipino or a human being.

In the meantime, while hoping for the best for this country, every evening, I would tuck my children in that pastel-striped blanket that kept me warm during that horrible night many, many years ago, grateful that they do not have to go through the fears which used to keep me up at night when I was their age, while fervently praying that they never would have to…ever…"


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Source: Facebook
Davaoeña steps up to defend Davao City and President Duterte Davaoeña steps up to defend Davao City and President Duterte Reviewed by Nathan Singson on August 17, 2019 Rating: 5

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