MANILA, Philippines – Mindanaoan presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte criticized the “Daang Matuwid” Manuel Roxas II was offering as the solution to a laggard Mindanao during the 3rd round of the Cagayan de Oro presidential debate on Sunday, February 21.
The debate – the first in a series being mounted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and its media partners – was organized by GMA-7 and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Roxas said he would continue the supposedly substantial support being given by the Aquino administration to the region.
The Liberal Party standard-bearer said that in the last 5 years of the Aquino government, the funds given to Mindanao was double compared to what was given during the administrations of Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a total of 12 years.
“Habang totoo na napag-iwanan ang Mindanao, hindi na po ‘yan ang nangyayari ngayon… P260 billion pesos ang dumating sa Mindanao itong nakaraang 5 taon kumpara sa 125 billion noong 12 taon ni Gloria at ni Erap,” said the former interior secretary.
(While it is true that Mindanao was left behind, that is not true any more…P260 billion went to Mindanao these past 5 years compared to P125 billion during the 12 years of Gloria and Erap.)
Duterte, mayor of Davao City for over two decades, said the “Daang Matuwid” promise doesn’t cut it anymore.
“Wala akong nakitang tuwid na daan, puro kulubot lang ‘yan,” he said. (I did not see any straight path. It is crooked.)
He said it was not enough for Roxas to list down the amount of funds given to Mindanao without proving they went to the right programs.
“You do not count the funds given during the last 5 years. Naubos sa corruption (It went to corruption),” he said in rebuttal.
During his speech, Duterte presented his solution to the Mindanao challenge: federalism.
He said a disproportionate amount of money goes to Metro Manila while Mindanao, despite its contribution to the economy, does not receive enough funds.
The reason for this, he said, is the concentration of wealth and power in the capital.
“It is a disparity and that is why people are clamoring for a federal government. Dissipate muna natin ‘yung (Let’s dissipate) central powers for, after all, that is a symbol of being oppressed. You have to give us our share,” he said.
In federalism, local government units become autonomous states with control over their own development with minimal interference from the national (federal) government. – Rappler.com
Editors’ picks per round
- PiliPinas 2016 Debate: Round 1 goes to Mar Roxas
- PiliPinas 2016 Debate: Round 2 goes to Grace Poe
- PiliPinas 2016 Debate: Round 3 goes to Grace Poe