MANILA - Following Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo's comment that she does not subscribe to the mailed-fist rule of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the presidential aspirant on Sunday said he is no fan of the lawmaker's leadership.
"I do not also subscribe the style of her leadership. Tabla lang kami -- she does not like me, I do not like her, so no problem," Duterte told reporters in Davao City.
The feisty mayor did not expound on his statement.
Robredo said Friday that Naga City was able to equal the progress of Davao City without employing harsh methods in curbing criminality.
"We achieved the same results in Naga... 'yung peace and order, 'yung discipline among the people... we achieved the same things without that kind of attitude," Robredo said in an interview with The Philippine STAR.
"It may have worked in Davao and in many other places... but based on experience we were able to achieve the same results without resorting to those things," she added.
Robredo's husband, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, served as Naga's mayor for 19 years, from 1988 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2010.
In 1999, Naga City was cited as one of the most improved cities in Asia. The late mayor was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000.
The widow earlier said that her vice presidential bid in 2016 is aimed at continuing the "tsinelas leadership" of her husband. The term was coined after the late Cabinet member was seen wearing slippers, an act interpreted by his supporters as humility.
(Tsinelas leadership: Why Leni Robredo joined VP race)
On his radio show Sunday, Duterte was again asked to comment on Robredo's disdain for his iron rule. This time, the aspiring president said he will leave Naga to its own devices if its leaders think that the city is peaceful.
"I hate to respond on questions, issues coming from lady candidates. Ang masasabi ko lang kung ang iyong Naga City ay peaceful, wala problema sa droga, walang problema sa mga kriminal, ang leadership dili manghilabot nimo (hindi makikialam sa inyo)," Duterte said.
"We will not go to Naga. We will ignore the law and order in Naga tutal kaya naman nilang i-improve. We will never interfere in Naga."
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte's running mate, earlier said that the crime rate spiked in Naga from January to July 2015, at 5,692 cases.
This figure is only a little less than the 6,026 combined crime cases recorded in the five other towns of Bicol, Cayetano added.
Commenting on the numbers, Duterte said: "If that figure makes Naga City peaceful, according to Robredo e di fine... We will escape Naga. If you can improve there without my leadership, ang leadership ko, hindi manghilabot nimo (hindi makikialam sa inyo)."
Duterte, who has been tagged in extrajudicial killings in his city, was dubbed by TIME Magazine as "The Punisher" in a 2002 article.
In May 2015, Duterte admitted his links to the Davao Death Squad (DDS), which is allegedly responsible for summary executions of over 1,000 criminals in the city. He, however, later backtracked on his statement, saying he was referring to the Davao Development System.
Duterte vowed to counter crime and mold the country in the image of Davao City, if and when he is elected as president in 2016. -- With reports from Clare Cornelio and Bonnamae Pamplona, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao