The ruling Liberal Party (LP) chaired by President Benigno Aquino 3rd called on voters to reject violence and the dictatorial policies of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., LP campaign manager, fired the opening salvo at the party’s miting de avance in Quezon City Saturday by stressing that the presidency is not about saber rattling and inviting violence.
“Hindi po ito nadadaan sa patapangan ng pagsasalita; sa pinakamabilis bumunot ng baril; sa pinakamabilis sa suntukan (It is not about who is the most audacious, the fastest one to pull out a gun; the fastest when it comes throwing punches),” Belmonte told the estimated crowd of 25,000.
“We need a President who is ready, and that is none other than Mar Roxas,” he added.
“When you rule a country with violence, we will be going against each other. There will be shooting. What we should have is justice. Without justice, we will be a Banana Republic,” Belmonte said.
Former Justice Secretary and LP Senate bet Leila de Lima said voters should learn from the country’s experience of dictatorship under Ferdinand Marcos, whose administration was marred with extra judicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances.
“Should we choose a leader who is rude to women? Rude to people with disabilities? Rude to the right to life?” de Lima asked.
“Let’s not go back to our dark past. We fought for freedom. Let us not waste it. Never again,” she added.