Santiago: PH not ready for a Duterte presidency
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Tuesday said the Philippines is not yet ready for a Duterte presidency, casting doubt on the Davao City mayor’s allegiance to the rule of law.
“I don’t think so,” Santiago responded when asked if the country was ready for a government led by Davao City Mayor Rodigo Duterte.
During the Meet the Inquirer Multimedia, Santiago said some of Duterte’s statements during the campaign were “ill-reasoned.” But she hopes the mayor would clarify these in subsequent pronouncements.
“Some of his statements make us doubt his allegiance to the rule of law,” the senator said.
Duterte, known for his tough stance against criminality and backing up his words with action, has repeatedly said his administration will be unwavering in its stand against criminality.
The tough-talking local executive previously admitted that he had killed criminals and vowed to stop criminality within the first six months of his administration if elected president.
Duterte has been heavily criticized for his alleged connection to extrajudicial killings, which he has denied.
While many view these pronouncements of Duterte as a solution to criminality, Santiago said the public must be “legally literate.”
“We have to be legally literate. We have to know what does the law say so we can say whether his actuations are within the law or outside,” she said.
“We don’t have that mass educational appeal to our voters yet,” she added.
The senator said many “don’t understand” that some of the actuations of Duterte might be against the law.
“Merong mga [naniniwalang] bayani siya kasi kaagad ay susuntukin niya ung kalaban niya. Alam naman nating mali ‘yon, pero wala tayong legal literacy kasi. Di man lang natin alam anong tinatawag na rule of law,” she said.
(Some see him as a hero because he will immediately take down his opponents. We know that that’s wrong, but we have no legal literacy. We don’t even know what “rule of law” is.)
“Rule of law means the law applies to everybody whatever his standing in the community. That’s all that it means,” she explained.
“We do not have enough respect for the rule of law in his country,” she said. CDG/rga
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