At the first presidential forum leading to the 2016 election, presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and his running mate Senate Majority leader Alan Peter Cayetano stressed that only by being firm and strong in fixing the country’s broken system can peace and stability be realized. The tandem also said that cracking down on crime and corruption will lead to more investments and jobs and bring the country real change and progress that is needed now.
Duterte explained that the platform is a comprehensive and bold response to the lack of peace and order in the country.
“There is so much disorder. People don’t have security. Sobra na ang gulo at pahirap na dinadanas ng tao. Sino ba naman ang hindi mapapamura kung pag-gising mo pa lamang sa umaga hanggang sa pagtulog mo sa gabi, walang tigil ang pahirap at gulo sa ating bayan,” Duterte said.
Duterte pointed to the chaos in the country – worsening traffic problem, rising crime and illegal drug trafficking, lack of job opportunities and social injustice. They said the only way to fix the system is to remove chaos swiftly and decisively.
“This is the reason why I am angry. This is the reason behind my constant cursing. Behind my curses is the tragedy and suffering of the Filipino people,” Duterte said.
For his part, Cayetano asserted that it is the tandem’s duty to fight for those who cannot stand up on their own and are struggling everyday. He said he and Duterte have the experience and principles necessary to fight injustices committed by those benefiting from the country’s chaotic system.
The senator highlighted the need to end corruption in the country’s police force through harsh penalties for the corrupt and increasing salaries for police officers, removing excuses for corruption and helping to attract the best and brightest to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Cayetano also underscored the need for the country to transition to federalism to democratically decentralize governance and resources. He specifically mentioned the need to spread development to the regions by providing P 1 billion to every region for the next ten years to fund micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
In addition, the vice presidential aspirant also said that he and Duterte will phase out contractualization and exempt workers with salaries P 20,000 and below from paying personal income taxes.
“Kaya nandito kami ngayon ni Mayor Duterte. Kailangang kailangan nang baguhin ang sistema. Ang kailangan natin ay lideratong may tapang at malasakit para tapusin ang hirap at gulo,” Cayetano said.
Duterte, however, said that they do not offer themselves as the saviors of the Filipino people. He said they will need the help and support of ordinary people to realize radical change.
“Marami tayong kalaban. Maraming ayaw ayusin ang gulo dahil maraming nakikinabang dito. Pero sa tulong ninyong lahat, kakayanin natin ito,” Duterte said.
For his part, Cayetano said what is needed is an overhaul of the chaotic system.
“Hindi na pwede ang pwede na. Hindi na pwede ang konting pagbabago. At lalong hindi na pwede na magpatuloy ang ligaya ng mag nang-aabuso. Ang kailangan ay matapang na solusyon at mabilis na aksyon para tapusin ang gulo. This is what Mayor Duterte and I will bring,” Cayetano ended.
“Last men standing.”
This was how Maria Ressa of Rappler described Duterte and Cayetano, which is the only tandem who showed up at the forum hosted by the media outfit held at the De La Salle University’s (DLSU) Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium on Wednesday.
Ressa reported that after confirming their attendance to the forum, all of the tandems vying for the May presidential polls backed out of the forum.
“Maraming nadismaya at hindi dumalo ang iba pang tambalan sa forum na ito. Their absence to this first presidential and vice presidential forum is quite bothering,” Cayetano said.
At the event, Duterte and Cayetano responded to questions on a wide range of problems, from traffic to national security to internet speed./Office of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano