Roxas challenges Duterte to slapping match

Posted on December 15, 2015

LIBERAL PARTY (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II on Monday challenged Davao City Mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo R. Duterte to a slapping match.

Ganito, magsampalan na lang kami. Kung hindi totoo ang Wharton degree ko, sampalin mo ako. Hindi ako iiwas or iilag (Let’s just slap each other. If my Wharton degree isn’t true, slap me. I won’t dodge),” Mr. Roxas told reporters in an interview on Monday, according to a transcript sent by his camp.

Pero kung totoo yung Wharton degree ko, sasampalin kita. Ang bilis mo magsalita ng kung anu-ano eh, hindi mo alam, noh (But if my Wharton degree is true, I will slap you. You speak too soon about anything when you don’t know, no?).”

Responding to Mr. Roxas’s statement that Davao City’s being crime-free as a “myth, kathang isip, imagination lang,” Mr. Duterte said in his Sunday television program that Mr. Roxas’s being an alumnus of the Wharton School of Economics in Pennsylvania is a myth.

Mr. Roxas’s Web site ( states that he graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1974 and from the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. A check with its archives ( shows Mr. Roxas to be one of its alumni.

Alam nyo Digong, ang turing ko sayo, kaibigan. Nirespeto kita, pinahalagahan ko ang aking pakikipagkaibigan sayo. Pero mabuti na rin lang at nakita na natin ang katotohanan ng pagkatao mo (You know, Digong [Duterte], you were a friend to me. I respected you, I valued our friendship. But it’s just as well that we now see your character),” Mr. Roxas said.

“Well, nakakagulat dahil di ba ang isyu nya sa akin ay naninira daw ako? Eh wala naman akong ginawang paninira. Eh sa kanya, siya ang naninira, nagmumura pa, di ba? (Well, it’s surprising because his issue against me is I was destroying him. I haven’t done anything along those lines. But in his case, he destroys [people], he even curses.)”

To be sure, Mr. Roxas himself became a subject of controversy after cursing in a 2008 rally against then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Ito ba ang gusto natin? Subukan nya. Dito sa Wharton, sinabi nya na hindi totoo, okay. Kung hindi totoo, magpapasampal ako sayo. Eh kung totoo, ano ngayon? (Is this what we want? Let him try. With regards to Wharton, he says it’s not true, okay. If it’s not true, I will let you slap me. Eh if it’s true, what now?)” Mr. Roxas said. -- K. M. P. Tubadeza