FULL TEXT: INQ&A with vice presidential candidate Alan Cayetano
A day after the vice presidential debate at the University of Santo Tomas last April 10, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano joined INQUIRER.net for its third Facebook Live interview.
Cayetano, running mate of the controversial Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, generated a lot of interest during the debate when he hit fellow candidate Senator Bongbong Marcos for his family’s alleged ill-gotten wealth.
The former congressman of Taguig has been trading barbs with the late dictator’s son, who is the current frontrunner in the vice presidential race. Duterte earlier said he would turn over the presidency to Marcos if he is not able to resolve rampant criminality in the country.
In this interview with INQUIRER.net Editor in Chief John Nery and Chief of Reporters Kristine Sabillo last April 11, Cayetano shared his thoughts on Duterte, their vow to fight criminality in six months and his opposition of Marcos.
John Nery: Good afternoon and welcome to INQ & A. Our guest today is Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Alan Peter Caetano. I am John Nery, the Editor in chief of Inquirer.net and it is my happy task to serve as host for the next hour or so. Sharing hosting duties with me is Inquirer.net’s Chief of Reporters, Tine Sabillo. Senator Alan Peter Caetano is the running mate of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, for VP of the Philippines.
Senator, welcome to our—welcome to INQ.net, and to our cozy little set.
Alan Cayetano: Good afternoon, Tine and John, sa lahat ng mga nandito and all over the world at a maayong udtu sa kanilang mga tanan sa mga taga Visayas at Mindanao.
JN: Thank you, we are live at Facebook, on Periscope. We are live on Youtube, on the Inquirer news channel, we are also live on INQUIRER.net itself the most leading news website. We are also present in the ChatApps space. We have live updates on Viber, on Kakao, FireChat, on WeChat, and we are on air online. We are also covered by Radio Inquirer, by the PDI, by INQUIRER.net and by Inquirer Bandera. Last but not least, we are also live on Twitter, follow us @Inquirer.net and @Team_Inquirer.
Senator, just a couple of words about the format. It’s very simple, we have 3 rounds of questions, each round lasts about 18 to-19 minutes. The first half of each round will consist of 5, 6, 7, 8 questions from our various audiences. And the second half of each round, we will have our own follow-up questions, and at the end of the third round, we’d like to ask…
AC: Will I still be alive after two rounds?
JN: Oh you survived the 3-hour debate last night, I’m sure you will
AC: Only with God’s grace.
JN: And then at the end of that sir, we’d like to ask you to leave us with a closing statement and word to our audience. You will see us every now and then, checking our phones. We are in fact listening very intently to our guest of honor but this is the way, we receive, we read and raise the questions and comments you are sending online, on Facebook, so please bear with us.
Alright, senator, the first question actually it’s a comment from Twitter from @MehMaybe he says, about your performance yesterday. Sen Caetano, does it really have a plan, political will, isn’t a plan. How do you respond to that?
AC: What we’re saying is that we do have a plan. We have a powerpoint keynote presentations. Many of these will also be cross-referenced with NEDA plans, JICA transport plan. What I meant during the campaign and what we’ve been all saying all throughout the country is that all politicians have a plan. Non-politicians because of the internet, information revolution, you can get your phone now, I-Google niyo, “how to fix traffic in Metro Manila. “You’ll have maybe 5 plans that cost a couple tens of millions already there.
Mindanao is an example, Mindanao railways system 2010, 200 kilometers, P76 billion, was already on NEDA’s table. Now you need a feasibility study next. Yhey use the Japanese and Korean consultants. 2012 Phase 1, was ready for implementation until now hindi bini-bid that’s why Mayor Duterte and I are emphasizing all the plans are there but who will have the political will to implement the plan.
Now what is one thing stopping the others? Vested interests. That’s why I use the verse Matthew (6:24), “That you can serve two masters, you’ll love one and hate the other, you cannot serve God and money.” The reality is, in anything that we deal with, we will be delayed a little bit because of the internet. Okay, in terms of gross revenues, a couple hundred billion pesos in terms of profit just between the two big Telco, P50 billion how come you cannot even make a call? Many people in their house, the place of work, pag nagco-commute, a lot of times hindi mo pwedeng ilabas sa jeep, sa bus baka manakaw. For the times na ilalabas mo wala kang signal and even may signal ka, bakit mahal at mabagal ang internet. If we switch to, or have fast internet, you don’t have to make calls and you don’t have to pay per minute or get the unli promos anymore because you use Viber or WhatsApp or whatever application over the internet so all the plans are there.
I’ve talked to former NTC Commission. I’ve talked to people abroad, I had the privilege to go to Israel a couple of years ago and they’re way up there. I went to Silicon Valley, in my first term as congressman because we thought we’re gonna put up one in Taguig, I mean an IT zone and long story short, political will, the telcos like the other big business man in regular country nag-aaalaga ng politician yan. Anong hinihingi nila dati? Equal, level playing field. lang Later on, pwedeng akin yung NTC Commissioner and then pwede ba akin yung bandwidth na ganito. So if you look at South Korea, and Singapore for example, na napakabilis nung internet.
What do they have in common and the other countries? Yung regulatory system nila, intact e. Tayo nagreregulate sa kanila, e sila din e. So I’m not saying it’s all their fault. If you look at what the World Bank representative to the country said a couple of years ago, 40 families run 75 percent of the gross domestic product. And baka these 40 families, baka nag-aaway minsan, let’s say sa railways. Sabihin nung isang real estate giant, dito niyo ilagay yung terminal, sabi nung isa dito, nadedelay nang husto.
This was Hongkong. Nandito sa gitna yung terminal and yung may-ari ng Mall, yung MTR, ‘di ko binalikad a , MTR talaga sa HongKong, MRT dito. If you look at the, say, Elements Mall, Elements talaga, at tignan mo dyan at ano ang may ari ng real estate kasama ng rail way. Now if you want to bid it out…it’s the separate company, ‘di ba. Para hindi yung interest mo sa mall mo o dyan, o sa cubao mapunta yan, o sa whatever, o sa Novaliches o whatever na. So that’s one of the problems.
In the country, that is why can we focus on say, political will because in the end I could have given the best performance of my life last night in terms of platforms because I, among the people on the stage ako ang pinakamatagal sa gobyerno from councilor to senator and have gone through those facts and figures.
What I’ve realized in my 20 years in politics is that kung gusto mong gawin, at walang haharang sa’yo, magagawa mo. But even if you know everything in your head and when I’m about to do it…this is the infrastructure need for faster internet, then kelangan sa bandwidth, hanggang ganito lang karaming users, ‘di ‘yon pwedeng i-over…And then suddeny, may tatapik sa likod ko, “Op Alan, ako pumondo ng kampanya mo.” O tapos e tinigilan ko siya, “Op. Op. Op, Congress is stopping me. Sila ang pumundo dun. Op! Op! Op! The court is stopping you. Ako nga ang nag-appoint sa judge na ‘yon. Kaya ko inappoint dahil sinabi ng Telco na ‘yon, not blaming anything. What I’m saying is like that, in any industry now in the country and that has to change.
JN: Senator, we will have time later to ask follow up questions about regulatory political will and the directions to Elements Mall. But right now, Tine has question.
Kristine Sabillo: Thank you Senator, for joining us this afternoon. Actually, after a very exciting debate last night…so I have a question here from Roni Bongocan, from Facebook. One of the most prominent platform or campaign promises you have with Mayor Duterte is that you will solve criminality within six months upon being elected. So Roni is asking how will you eradicate, how exactly you will do it in six months?
AC: First of all I am really happy that we people are asking how I’m excited, I mean the voters and I’m really shocked why opponents are just saying it can’t be done and why our opponents not giving their own plan.
To many Filipino families especially mga pamilya ng mga OFW, urgent concern ang peace and order. Why? Everyone lives in a world, subdivision, security guards, 24/7, and CCTV’s and everything, I mean the Ayala Alabang, Forbes Parks, Dasmariñas Villages, are what? One percent less of our community in the Philippines. So yun. 50 percent of Metro Manila fear that, papasukin sila ng drug related, alak, adik, or magnanakaw, or nang mang re-rape sa bahay nila. 52 percent of that is that their daughter or wife is not yet at home at night na baka maging biktima sila ng crime. So even if walang mangyari, just living in crime, that chaos na may mentality na may gulo shouldn’t that all show us that this is an urgent matter and that all of us should have a plan?
But of all the candidates — Poe, Escudero, Leni and Mar, of course, Binay and Honasan — wala silang anti-crime plan. Wala silang anti-corruption plan. It’s the generic matter of statements that we will solve. They don’t have a time frame. They don’t have a target. So let me go to the question, how would you do it? It’s not like building a train, or building a road that you need a year, 2 years, 3 years because it starts with political will.
Criminals, and this is from criminal schools all over the world…It’s not the penalty. It’s the certainty that you will be caught and you will be punished. So there’s been a lot of experiments. Dun sa mga municipality, cities, nag-jaywalk, tapos hinuli ka agad. Wala nang nag ja-jaywalking. You go to Subic, let’s say Ayala Alabang.
People follow the law because, huhulihin ka kaagad sa traffic laws. ‘Di ba ganun din sa mga local govt’s na hindi papayag na nagloloko-loko na mag pay ng tax? One week lang sa una pa lang in-audit kaagad o sinabihan mga kompanya. Within 3 months nagbabayad na sila ng tama e. So first thing is the political will, second thing is that the experience on how to do it because different e. Drugs and jueteng and petty crimes happen differently. But for example, if you talk to someone, like an architect like Palafox, one of our leading urban planners and extraordinary in the country, he’ll give you statistics for exactly now but it’s quite a big percent of crime goes away just by lighting a street, just by having lighted areas.
If you look at the Davao experience, what made did the Mayor do? First is that CCTV is everywhere. Second he built up their 911 because it’s not only a matter of catching the criminal, it’s about the police being visible, being there and it’s a matter also if you have emergencies, you feeling safe, is not only feeling safe away from crime e, pwede ring maaksidente ka, may mangyari, di ba may well-equipped rescue ka dyan. Why 911? That’s what people know. So Mayor Duterte could not even get the 3 letter, the three numbers 911. He had to personally talk to telcos and threaten them. Pabirong patotoo na, “if you don’t give it to me, I don’t know if your towers will remain standing.” Some people question it but you know a lot of towers around the country are put up by bribery, by these people saying, “Sige we’ll pay you this month.” Kaya nga mas mahal din ang telco, May mga problem pa rin ang telco, with corruption until the barangay level.
Okay, so how did Mayor actually do it? Got the policemen and…guys they won’t believe we’re serious unless you catch them and if they fight back and they get away they won’t believe we can do it. So sabi nila , “Mayor what’s your instructions?” “Catch them but if they fight back and any threat to your life, shoot them.”
And by the way, I don’t know, if that was the rule 30 years ago, but in Europe and the US now that is the rule. But if the NBI, the local terrorists group, tell a police, a suspected criminal because you don’t know di ba sa nangyari sa Abu Sayyaff, di mo alam kung MILF, MNLF group or is it a terrorist group or a kidnap or ransom group, and see one guy in the street you might even be an innocent guy, when you see the guy on the street you might say, “Put your hands up or fold to the ground. Let me see your hands.” You don’t shoot them right away but if they reach for their pockets and attempt to do something else, like a bomb or a knife, you are allowed to use force already. So that’s the difference between Mayor Duterte and the others. Let’s go to Taguig quickly, in the last 9 months, we’ve caught the local police and God bless them, has caught the top 10, last 9 to 15 months in the top 10 in the list of drugs. But what are the problems they are facing? One, may tatawag na taga NCRPO, taga southern, taga korte or taga ganito. Two, if walang media dun right away, etc, kung sinu-sinong nakikiusap. Three, tine-threaten pa yung ibang mga police, idedemote sila. Four, pagdating sa fiscals office, now it’s much better, but in the past ang bilis maka-bail so there had to be an alliance between the judges, the city hall the fiscals na there had to be some kind of usapang lalake, usapang babae na dapat everyone pledge na walang ayusan ‘to and these are the problems everyone’s been dealing with. And there’s the problem with leadership meaning pag sinabi nung Mayor tinawag lahat ng heneral alam ko kung sino ang marumi sa inyo, mag-resign na kayo and there are systematic changes, that’s why we are promising double in pay of the police.
Right now police make 14800 a month and they don’t get their pay in their first 3 months. That’s government service. Ang cost of is living in Metro Manila is 30 to 50 thousand. So every month so ang pulis kulang ng 15000 every month. Saan niya kukunin yun? So ang daling sabihing wag kang corrupt ka, pero gutom ang pamilya mo hindi makapag-aral anak mo. So question, yung iba ang platform nila “no increase.” We will not get rid of corruption unless we increase the pay and make enough to feed their family. Yung iba naman “itaas lahat.” Hindi kayang itaas lahat, 1.7 million government workers, pag sinabay sabay mong itaas lahat,politically lahat matutuwa sayo. There is no cascading; there is no domino effect in change. That’s why kami, law enforcers muna ang uunahin namin, NBI, law, police, physical, maybe later the judges, the military because part of the military, their intelligence will be used against drugs which President Arroyo declared as a national security threat.
Remember a lot of products that are either brought in, smuggled, sometimes buong laboratoryo ay smuggled in, so there is a plan and in fact we’re putting up a deal as much as possible, kasi part of the plan ayaw mo namang malaman ng criminal. But I’ll give you an example, the proper use of intelligence funds, there are billions of intelligence funds but everyone is quiet about it. We’re all guilty about it in the national government but are put into pockets or sa kung anu-anong gastos. In Davao City, the Mayor uses it, may nagbabalot dyan, may tricycle driver. Pag may bagong mukha, bagong tao, sinusundan ng CCTV yan e. May strategy yan on how you get it. In Taguig, it takes my wife, six years. She only used the intelligence funds once. Five years, she’s fed up with excuses and it won’t be used for that. So there has to be a way the president can meet that to meet the highly urbanized mayor kasi most of the drugs are also in the highly urbanized area, nandun ang pera. So there’s a strategic way. It’s like a dominos. Once you hit one and you’re lined up right away, it falls. And not only that, you hit a bigger one, to fall. The most important domino.
The first step is the political will that they know that you’re serious. And everyone understands whether it’s a criminal o hindi, that when Mayor Duterte says shoot to kill, mangyayri. Kaya dalawang grupo sa Pilipinas e, one group who firmly believes na magagawa mo pero ang tanong, “Mayor will you do it under the bounds of the law?” and the other group, “Mayor magagawa mo ba? E kung magagawa mo naman, mag martial law ka.” That’s the Enrile line. I believe in the constitution, I believe in the human rights, and I believe there’s a way to do it that will satisfy the constitution but again let me end where I started. Where is the Binay-Honasan plan? Where is the Poe-Escudero plan? Where is the Mar-Leni plan? Because we have Davao and we have Taguig. We have our public record and we are physically explaining and saying in words, 6 months and this is what we will do. So halimbawa, pagtaas ng sweldo ng pulis, are the other teams also gonna do that?
JN: We’ll get to that Senator. The next question comes from Twitter again. It’s a comment actually, I’d like you to react to this, “A three-six months guarantee, is not a plan or a program”.
AC: Yes, we never said it was a plan or a program. What we said, is that…
JN: But is it realistic?
AC: Yes, feel safe to suppress crime that you can walk on the streets, because nga ang kriminal, nakatingin lang yan e. John and ano, Tine, if we have all 12 children, it’s a full house, but let me take my family as an example. My mom just love us to death, but she spoiled us, I mean in the sense that if she says don’t fight we wouldn’t listen to her, hindi naman niya kami papagalitan. You know we’ll just hug her and rub her feet and bring her hot tea. She’s a teacher so she loves children, and my dad on the other hand, pag sinabi niyang “asan si Alan?” nanginginig na ako e, so I was asking if he’s gonna do anything bad. So noon, when my dad says, don’t eat in this room, no one eats in this room. In the house, no one drinks, no one smokes, we don’t drink we don’t smoke kasi we know that of we’re gonna get it if he does it. I tried once and I got smacked around when he saw me having Andy Player in my car and I didn’t even drink it yet. And I never, never akong umulit. Ganun sa crime e, and all the science will point to that so is there a plan, yes, but this is not like an infrastructure master plan.
The plan is simple, character, leadership, political will. Tell the criminals that you will either be in jail and it won’t be a five-star Muntinlupa. It will be in jail that you will suffer or you will have a rehab program but you’re gonna be in jail. Or two, if you fight you’re gonna be in the cemetery. If you stop you’re okay. And all sciences of criminology will be there: spending time with you on CCTVs, spending on crime labs.
I’ve worked on crime labs for the last ten years, some of the crime labs around the country is my quiet way of helping the PNP, putting up the pay of the police is crucial because if the police is corrupt and they’re part of the crime, I don’t know if you heard this, there is a convention daw all over the world and nagyayabang mga Amerikano because in the US, we have 911, in 10 minutes of any crime, the police is there. Sabi ng Hapon, because of our Koban system, we have tourist police everywhere. It’s easy to communicate and internet is fast and everything so within three minutes we’re there. So sabi ng PNP e talo kayo sa Pilipinas, kami habang nandun yung crime, nandun na kami. So sabi ng audience, “How can you be where the crime is?” Sa amin rin yung mga kriminal e.
In reality, in syndicated crimes, sa sindikato may isa o dalawang pulis na kasama and 90, 95, 98 percent of the police force hates this but wala silang magawa e. Because from bottom to top may racket. Ganun din sa politiko, from councilor to president. We are a racket society di ba na we are hypocritical about being paid well but ginagawan mo ng paraan. So what we’re saying is that the Duterte-Caetano team has the political will to tell criminals, “In the Philippines crime does not pay.” Right now crime does pay, corruption does pay, smuggling, we have all the equipment there. You don’t need a plan, you just have to tell the guy in the Customs, “Every single one of you that does not stop, alis kayo, di kayo aalis, we’ll put you in jail.” So you go to any barangay captain, we went to Pasay they know who the drug pushers are, so why do you need a plan to get the drug pushers, kilala naman e, there’s no political will.
JN: Again we will have a chance of asking another question.
AC: I hope I just gave you a semblance of what we’re gonna do.
KS: This is a question from Ronnie Bungocan as well. I know you already explained that a suspected criminal would fight back. The law enforcers would have instructions to deal with that. He is asking, “Will you condone extra judicial killings?”
AC: No, never. You have to distinguish between rallies talking and saying patay yan, with the actual instructions and in the sober discussions, so Mayor Duterte has made very clear instructions, one, always in the bounds of the constitution, never extra judicial killing. Nakita mo yun suspected bigla mong baril, pinaluhod mo. Pastor, pari, kagalit mo, sabihin mo may droga yan habang nagpi-preach pero pag punta sa kwarto niya babarilin mo. Well in fact the most used operation in Davao is buy-bust or the actual exchange of drugs. Dun nagkakahulihan except for kidnapping where sinusundan either yung pera o kung pinapunta ka na nung kidnapper. That’s why they’re saying, one of the comments is bakit yung retail ang nahuhuli niyo at hindi yung wholesale. Remember he’s a Mayor. When he becomes president, if he becomes president, the Lord gives him that and the people support him, he will be both in wholesale with the drug lords, and the how do I put it, drug bishops and drug couriers, etc. But it’s easier from his point of view and from a Mayor’s point of view to just go after each and every one selling it.
Question is killing per se murder? Is killing per se extra judicial killing? The Bible says do not kill. The original translation is do not murder. That’s why soldiers when they are fighting and they see someone in combat, it’s not murder. That’s why the police pag sila binabaril they shoot back, that’s not murder, that’s self-defense, or that’s law enforcement. So what the Mayor’s saying is that they don’t have any gun, so why shoot them, ba’t hulihin mo? But many of those in drugs, dalawa ang problema e, ang gaganda ng mga baril nila, number two, user din sila e. When you’re a user especially pag medyo adik na, and you’re into drugs, feeling mo invincible ka e, kaya kaya yung iba, tamaan na once, sumusugod pa rin sila. Sobrang ano yung adrenaline nila tsaka nung drugs in your system and remember, 30 years or 20 years na as Mayor or just two terms in different capacity, how many groups have investigated you? Now, if talking loudly is a crime, you’d be guilty. They’ve investigated, how many investigations, kakampi man yan o kalaban, even Sec, Leila de Lima has been on its trail. No cases filed. Not even solid evidence so it’s really… and you go to Davao, you ask the people of Davao they’re happy. It’s not about the climate of fear, it’s the climate of respect and the climate of being safe.
We’ve never said, ‘zero crime’. Kunyari di ba, I get your ballpen here from INQ.net, technically ninakaw ko or I jaywalk pero what I’m saying is that like Singapore, you tell your children dun ka sa sine 2 in the morning, punta ka ng Mcdo 24 hours, 3 in the morning, you feel safe. No, you’re actually safe. That’s the standard in Davao but people keep throwing statistics like Sen. Trillanes without explaining the statistics. Davao is 3 times bigger than the whole Metro Manila ganun kalaki and in those yung nasa FB, that’s 5 years of crime and then number 3, hindi pinapakita dun kung yung mga patay ay patay dahil sila ang mga criminal. But you watch the news, whatever channel, the first 15 to 20 minutes are all crime. The reality is while Mayor Duterte is only the one who uses bloody, patay, some of the other people, conservative groups, conservative provinces, parang ganyan, the reality is anyone you elect maraming patay. Ang question lang, whether yung inosente na pinatay, yung kapitbahay mo na ni-rape, yung pulis ang patay o yung criminal ang patay. We’re not going to be—no president will succeed kung wild, wild west tayo. Yung peace and order not only includes na walang kriminal, it’s also that there is a sense of law. Kahit na patay lahat ng mga criminal pero feeling mo wala kang rights e di balik tayo sa martial law and our constitution doesn’t allow that.
JN: Senator, we will get back to that, I wanted to ask you about the UN special repertoire that had findings on the Davao death squad.
Question by Kennedey Feria on Facebook, this is about your campaign. Why did you come up with posters and tarps weeks before Mayor Digong announced his presidential bid? Did you have an inkling? Or were you trying to convince him or what?
AC: 100 percent I can tell you, fate. You know, there were several groups asking me to be their vice president, then later on they shifted to asking me to be their senate president or be in the senate and then be their speaker kung anong offer, ‘no, cabinet. He was always saying where can I be most effective, and when I decided I will run for vice president and really try to redefine the role of vice president, you know, I went to Davao and declared that I am running and that evening I talked to Mayor Duterte he told me he’s not running. I told him, “Mayor, if you run, I’ll support you. If you run with a different running mate, I’ll support you quietly, you don’t have to support me back. But, if you pick me, I will do my best, ‘no?”
And… until the last minute I thought he was going to file, ‘no? But he didn’t file and it was really a walk of fate, why did we put up the posters, why did the supporters? I have a hundred and eighty groups all over the country that we have a project together ‘yung anti-5-6, microfinance; palengke, vendors, tricycle driver, jeepney drivers. I think I’m one of the few senators who have a project in areas that [has] calamity. More than 15,000 houses had burned down in Metro Manila from January 1 to today alone, and usually, it’s only the local government that helps them. Kung meron mang national, bigas lang. No rehab program, no livelihood program, the CCT doesn’t- the 4Ps doesn’t even kick in automatically then if lose they everything, and to all the areas I’ve been with, I have support eh. And… you know, I have, of course, I have some business community and everything, they are the one who push, they said, “Alan, you make good match. Alan, one way to encourage him but also get your numbers up is to get that.” That was the story there. That’s why… in fact, when he did announced that he was going to run, many of us were on the same party of Atty. Fred Lim, and we couldn’t even believe that he already did it, because he had two interviews the same night. The first interview he didn’t say it. The second interview, we were already eating and tired from of flight from Iloilo to Cavite but you know it’s there.
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