A former classmate in San Beda College has shed light on Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's claim that he was expelled from the school's College of Law for shooting a classmate who was making fun of him.
Duterte made the claim during a campaign rally, saying as a result of the incident, he was not only expelled from the school but was also not allowed to march during their graduation.
However, in an interview with GMA News' Sandra Aguinaldo, retired labor arbiter Arthur Amansec, a classmate of Duterte who witnessed the incident, made some clarifications regarding the story.
According to Amansec, the incident happened between Duterte and Octavio Goco who at that time were both playing with a gun. He said it was normal for students to bring guns to school in the Seventies.
"Etong si Digong (Duterte's nickname) and another classmate, Goco, naghaharutan... Bigla na lang may pumutok na baril," he said in Aguinaldo's report on "24 Oras" on Friday.
Amansec said the bullet hit the school's wooden floor and was embedded there.
He said although he did not see who between Duterte and Goco fired the gun, school authorities believed Duterte was among the culprits. It, however, did not conduct an investigation.
Amansec said Duterte and Goco remained friends until Goco died in the United States years later.
A check by GMA News on San Beda's College of Law records showed that Duterte graduated in 1972 and was not expelled. An official, however, confirmed that he was not allowed to march in the graduation ceremony due to an incident involving a gun.
Amansec said Duterte's different version of the incident may have been due to his propensity to "exaggerate."
"Kung minsan nagjo-joke lang siya eh, he exaggerates, he jokes. Pero 'yung heart niya is full of truth, full of sincerity," he said. —KBK, GMA News