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After Duterte lead, Poe vows to end crime through ‘justice’

Wyatt Ong
After Duterte lead, Poe vows to end crime through ‘justice’
'Ang pakikipaglaban sa krimen at sa droga ay nadadaan sa katarungan at hindi lamang sa karahasan,' Grace Poe says in a Laguna rally after Rodrigo Duterte became the new poll front-runner

MANILA, Philippines – Violence is not the solution.

Presidential bet Grace Poe delivered what may have been her strongest statement yet on fighting crime – on the same day Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte  bumped her from the top spot in the presidential race based on the first quarter Social Weather Stations survey.

In a speech in Calamba in Laguna on Monday, April 11, Poe promised the public she would prioritize their security.

If she wins the presidency, Poe said violence would not be the solution to end crime in the country – a criticism against Duterte, who promised to end crime nationwide in just 3 to 6 months, through what he only described as a “bloody” campaign.”

“Ang pakikipaglaban sa krimen at sa droga ay nadadaan sa katarungan at hindi lamang sa karahasan. Mga kababayan, importante na ang bawat isa sa inyo ay protektado,” she said on Monday, April 11.

(Fighting crimes and drugs can be done through justice and not just violence. My fellowmen, it is important that each one of you is protected.)

She added: “Hindi po karahasan kundi katarungan ang kailangan natin – katarungan na may pagkain ang bawat pamilya, katarungan na may sapat na kita, katarungan na puwedeng makapag-aral ang lahat, katarungan na mapagkakatiwalaan ninyo ang mga namumuno, katarungan na ligtas kayo saan man kayo pumunta sa ating bayan.”

(Justice, not violence, is what we need – justice that each family has food, justice that there is adequate salary, justice that everyone can go to school, justice that you can trust your leaders, justice that your are safe wherever you go in our country.)

The neophyte senator also tapped the security concerns of women and mothers,  similar to the examples used by the tandem of Duterte and his running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

“Ang babae ay matapang. Wala pong duda doon. Ang inyong iniisip, magiging ligtas ba ako kapag naglalakad ako sa gabi, na walang haharang sa akin, nang walang gagawa ng masama sa akin? Magiging ligtas ba ang aking mga anak laban sa droga?” Poe said.

(Women are brave. There’s no doubt about that. You’re thinking, will I be safe when I walk at night, without anyone harassing me? Will my children be safe against drugs?)

Poe assured voters that she would axe authorities who would not do their jobs properly, down to the barangay level.

She then reiterated she would appoint the “brave” and “clean” retired Colonel Ariel Querubin as her anti-crime czar.

“Ito ang aking masasagot sa inyo: Sisiguraduhin ko na ligtas sila sapagkat kung ang isang barangay ay hindi tumino, papalitan ko ang mga pulis na nakatalaga doon, at ang mismong barangay captain ay aking papanagutin,” she added.

(This is what I can tell you: I will assure you that they are safe because if one barangay is not working, I will relieve the police there and I will make the barangay captain accountable.)

Her rivals, Vice President Jejomar Binay and administration standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II had also hit Duterte for his “impossible” promise to end crime in just months.

Since late last year, Roxas had pointed out the continuing presence of criminals in Davao City, which has the 4th highest number of index crimes in the country. 

Binay only began attacking Duterte – depicting the mayor as a cold-blooded killer who would kill poor, innocent crime suspects in his campaign speeches– only last week, after the Davao mayor topped the Laylo poll with Poe.

Anti-drugs war

On the fight against illegal drugs, Poe said she would give “millions” in reward money to those who can give information on drug pushers.

Poe is the Senate committee chairman on public order and dangerous drugs.

“Kapag ako ay naging pangulo, kung sinoman sa inyo ang makatulong sa alagad ng batas na makapagturo ng nagtutulak ng droga, galing mismo sa pondo ng pangulo, milyong-milyong pabuya ang ibibigay ko para mahuli sila,” she said.

(If I become president, whoever could help authorities get to drug pushers, I will give you millions in reward money from the president’s fund so that they would be caught.)

Barangays that would register zero crime, she said, would also get “hundreds of thousands” of reward.

Duterte gained the solo lead in the  recent SWS survey, after months of landing in a statistical tie with Poe.

The Davao City mayor gained the support of 27% of respondents, 4- percentage points higher than Poe who had 23%. Binay was 3rd with 21%, followed by  Roxas II with 18%. –

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