SAYING that peace cannot be achieved through violent means, Sen. Grace Poe reiterated her call for a just society that respects due process and the rule of law.
Speaking at a campaign sortie in Surigao del Norte, Poe–a frontrunner in the presidential race in the May 2016 elections–said the government has to be tough in addressing crime and illegal drugs, but it also has to be just and responsible.
“Hindi lang po patayan ang solusyon palagi. Hindi tayo magtitiis nang matagal.
Ang kailangan lang ay organisado. Ang kailangan lang ay makatarungan, sapagkat kung nagkamali tayo sa ating desisyon at may naapektuhang isang inosente, hindi na po matatapos ang gulo [Killing is not always the answer. All that is needed is for us to get organized, to have justice because if one wrongful act will affect the life of an innocent, then there will be no end to chaos],” she said.
“Ang kailangan po natin ay katarungan at hindi karahasan sapagkat hindi po puwedeng maggagantihan tayong lahat dahil sa pambibintang [What we need is justice, not violence.
It’s not right that we get back at each other just because of allegations],” Poe pointed out.
According to the senator, it takes both incorruptible leadership and people participation to make communities safe and drug-free.
“If there are any members of our police who will abuse their powers, I will make sure that they do not remain in their post for another day,” Poe said.
The senator added that she will declare illegal drugs as a national security threat if she wins.
She said she plans to tap the President’s intelligence fund to intensify crime-busting efforts by giving incentives to informants and rewarding crime-free barangay (villages).
“I will make sure that if your barangay remains drug-free and crime-free, meron po kayong reward sa gitna ng taon at sa dulo ng taon. At sa mga kababayan naman natin na magsusumbong kung sino ang mga nagtutulak ng droga, sa intelligence fund din, hindi ako magdadalawang-isip na magbigay ng ilang milyon para lamang makulong lahat ng ‘yan [You will have a reward at the middle and end of the year. And those who will give information on drug peddlers, I will not hesitate to give several millions],” the senator added.
Under her “Gobyernong may Puso,” Poe said, she will give priority to addressing poverty, which she believes is the root of crime.
If people have decent jobs and food on the table, crime rates will subsequently go down, she added.
In her first trip to Mindanao this week, Poe reiterated her commitment to allocate one-third or P1 trillion from the national budget to the region, where 13 out of the 20 poorest provinces can be found.