Davao City declares Sen. Trillanes persona non grata

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 13) — Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is not welcome in Davao City after he was declared persona non grata on Tuesday.

Davao City Vice Mayor Bernard Al-Ag said Trillanes was declared persona non grata for describing the city as "the most dangerous city in the Philippines" where the crime rate is high.

"Mr. Trillanes, you will not succeed in destroying our city. You will not succeed in destroying our beloved President Rodrigo Duterte... We do not need you here in Davao City. You are unwelcome and unwanted in our city of Davao," Al-Ag said in a privilege speech.

He added that the senator is portraying the city of Davao negatively during his foreign trips.

But despite the persona non grata status, Trillanes will not be banned from entering the city.

The vice mayor said the Davao City Council approved the motion to declare the staunch Duterte critic persona non grata during its regular session.

In 2017, Trillanes was quoted as saying Davao City is the top city that recorded the most number of murder cases and the second most number of rape cases.

"Hindi naman paraiso ang Davao City gaya ng pinapangalandakan nila... May peace and order ba doon? Hindi. It is one of the most dangerous places in the country," the senator said in a 2017 media briefing.

[Translation: Davao City is not a paradise, contrary to what they claim. Is there peace and order? There is none. It is one of the most dangerous places in the country.]

Trillanes said the city council is "hurt" because he exposed the truth about the real crime rates. He also said his allegations were based on a December 2015 report of the Philippine National Police.

"The truth, definitely, hurts... The people of Davao either know it but tolerate it out of fear or they've actually believed the lie that was fed to them that Davao City is the safest city in the world," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque was smiling when he was asked to react to the City Council resolution.

"I do not know how you want me to react because I speak for the President, and I cannot say anything other than congratulations to Davao City," he said in a media briefing.