Candidates weigh in on Mindanao’s problems, political dynasty, Edca
How exactly do you define a political dynasty? Vice President Jejomar Binay said when asked if he is in favor of an anti-dynasty law.
“Bakit naman ho magkakaroon ng batas para pagbawalan ang gustong magtrabaho? Qualified naman at mahahalal sa malinis na halalan. Hindi naman guarantee na porket kamag-anak mananalo,” said Binay, whose wife and children have been a fixture in the government.
(Why would there be a law banning those who want to work (in the government) as long as a person is qualified and elected in honest and clean elections? It is not guaranteed that one will win if he or she is a relative of a politician.)
The vice president was among the five candidates who participated in the first presidential debate organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and hosted by Inquirer and GMA 7.
However, Binay and his son dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun, are accused of being behind the alleged overpricing of government-funded buildings in Makati City.
He argued that while dynasties are prohibited under the Philippine Constitution, its definition is still hotly debated.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who is also a lawyer, argued that “anything written in the constitution…should be literally applied as possible.”
During his rebuttal, Binay hit Santiago for having a son who was an elected official.
After being allowed to counter the vice president, a feisty Santiago explained that she once had a son who ran as party-list representative. The senator clarified that her son is no longer an elected official.
“After one term he did not run for another post,” the Senator said.
During the earlier part of the round, it was Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who was put in a hot seat.
He was shown a photo of an area in Zamboanga that needs a bridge.
Duterte said it was because Mindanao was not getting enough funds as compared to Metro Manila.
“Ang ating lawful share sa taxes hindi ibinibigay (We are not getting our lawful share in taxes). You have to give us our share and of course we have to restore law and order,” he said.
Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who is the ruling Liberal Party’s presidential bet, said if he is elected, he will ensure that the bridge will be constructed, especially under the “Daang Matuwid (Straight Path)” reform agenda.
Duterte retorted and said, “Wala naman akong nakitang tuwid na daan. Puro kulubot naman yan.”
(I have seen a straight path. These are all wrinkled.)
“How can you expect Mindanao to develop?” he said again, emphasizing that the region has not been getting enough from the national government.
Still on the issue of Mindanao, Santiago hit the executive department for signing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) without letting it pass through the Senate, as in the case of other treaties.
The Edca will allow the use of the old Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro by American soldiers.
“Parang nagsusunod sunuran tayo,” Santiago said, adding that China and the United States are both greedy and wanted to control the Philippines.
(It seems like we are blindly following them.) RAM
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