“Last men standing.”
This was how Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano were described by the host of an election forum organized by Rappler held at the De La Salle University’s (DLSU) Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium on Wednesday.
It was reported that Duterte and Cayetano were the only candidates who attended the forum. Sources said that after confirming their attendance to the forum, all of the tandems vying for the May presidential polls backed out of the event.
“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.
Nonetheless, the duo presented their platform, which they said is a comprehensive and bold response to the chaos in the country. They pointed to the worsening traffic problem, rising crime and illegal drug trafficking, lack of job opportunities and social injustice that need to be addressed. Duterte and Cayetano said the only way to effect real change is to end the country’s chaos swiftly and decisively.
“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.
“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.
Cayetano said he and Duterte have the experience and principles necessary to fight injustices committed by those benefiting from the country’s chaotic state of affairs.
The senator highlighted the need to fight crime and corruption in the police force through harsh penalties for the corrupt and increasing salaries for honest 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, and attain lasting peace. He specifically mentioned the need to spread development by infusing the regions with the necessary funds for development.
“Hindi na pwede ang pwede na. Hindi na pwede ang konting pagbabago. At lalong hindi na pwede na magpatuloy ang ligaya ng mga 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 stressed./Office of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano