LOOK: Duterte supporter allegedly issues death threat to UPLB student Stephen Villena

MANILA, Philippines - UPLB student Stephen Villena made headlines this week after the video of his controversial discourse with presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte during a UPLB academic forum held on Friday, March 11 spread like wildfire on social media.

Shortly after the video went viral, Villena earned negative comments particularly from supporters of Duterte. However, a report by PulitikaPilipinas claimed that a certain supporter of the tough talking mayor even went to the extent of issuing a death threat to Villena on social media. As of this writing, the article has been taken down.

Netizen EJ Neri is allegedly circulating a photo of a tomb with Stephen Villena’s name encrypted on it. For many netizens, Neri’s post is a clear indication of a death threat.

Duterte supporter allegedly issues death threat to UPLB student Stephen Villena
Reports also claimed that Villena was harassed and bullied by Duterte’s supporters. PHOTO CREDIT: PulitikaPilipinas
Villena, who interrupted Duterte during the question and answer portion of Governance, Transparency, and Social Transformation forum, was tagged by supporters as arrogant and disrespectful.

When given the opportunity to ask Duterte a question, Villena asked: “Paano niyo po ma-iimplement yung nagawa niyo po sa Davao City na ganon kaganda yung kagamitan ng kapulisan sa buong Pilipinas without “compromising” education or without increasing the budget of defense?“

Instead of giving a direct answer to Villena’s question, the presidential candidate opted to share the story of bombing incidents in his city.

However, Villena didn’t let Duterte finish his story and said: “Sir sana po pakisagot yung tanong ng diretso. Ang tanong ko lamang po is hindi po ba magdagdagan yung budget niyo for defense sa pag-iimplement niyo ng ginagawa niyo sa Davao City sa buong Pilipinas if ever you will be the president? So sana pakisagot po ng diretso kasi nagtatanong po kami ng diretso dito para makauwi na po kayo.“

Aside from being bashed online, Villena is also accused of accepting money from Liberal party presidential bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas III to disrespect Duterte.

The controversy has prompted the Davao City mayor’s spokesperson Peter Laviña to release an official statement about the issue. According to Laviña, supporters of the presidential candidate should take the high road when engaging in any kind of “discourse” involving Duterte. He also urged supporters to “exercise civility, intelligence, decency, and compassion”.

Villena writes open letter

On Sunday, March 13, Villena has decided to break his silence regarding the controversy he is currently embroiled in through an open letter. In a lengthy Facebook post, Villena said that the video which circulated on social media did not show the full exchange between him and Duterte.

Villena wrote: “The cut video somehow made it appear na pinapauwi ko na si Mayor. Hindi po, sya po ang nagmadali na umuwi. In fact I only wanted to accomodate his wish to finish the Q&A portion of the forum asap. The end result was that the people who only saw the shortened video but did not participate in the forum somehow got the impression that I was bastos, arrogante, walang modo.”

Towards the end of his open letter, Villena pointed out that he is not a blood relative of any candidate running for the national office. Moreover, he denied having connections with the children of Liberal party vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo.

- Mini, The Summit Express

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