By MIGUEL CARLOS LAZARTE and CAREN JOY MALALUAN
The recently concluded event by the Department of Social Sciences (DSS) and UP sa Halalan 2016 entitled ‘A GE conversation with a National Leader: A Forum on Governance, Transparency, and Social Transformation’ featured presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte as the guest speaker last Friday, 11 March.
A long queue of UPLB students waiting to be admitted inside the D.L. Umali Hall was spotted outside the venue. However, not all the students were admitted since seats inside the D.L. Umali Hall were limited. The line was cut off and students were advised to watch the live-stream of the event instead.
On the mayor’s speech, he started by claiming that he is not an extremist, rather a socialist. He then presented his platforms if ever he became president and reinstated his claim that he would stop drugs and criminality in a span of 3 to 6 months in position. He also tackles national issues particularly on poverty, corruption, oppression, criminality, drugs and militarism.
He added that he will never allow abuses by the military or police.
Duterte also stated his disappointments and criticisms on the government and corrupt officials. He stated that the corrupt officials keep on denying it. He criticized the way the government is being ran, asserting that it is oppressing the people.
He also expressed his sentiment that GABRIELA Philippines was furious at him and jokingly followed-up that they can just line up so he can kiss each of them.
He also gave out to the audience his plans on a federal government. “We are praying for federalism”, stating that it can also be a way of bringing peace in Mindanao. “Nothing short of federalism will bring peace to Mindanao,” he added. Yet he had instated that federalism is a long process.
On his being a dictator, he admitted that he is one but will not go beyond his term.
Asked about his budget priorities, the highest will go to education; second is agriculture; third is health. Moreover, he gave emphasis on reestablishing family planning in the country.
He said that his attendance to the forum was not a campaign but rather to only talk about the issues. He told the audience that they still own their vote.
Duterte’s visit was part of the series of fora with same topics on governance, transparency, and social transformation.
The UP sa Halalan 2016 is a project initiative created by the University of the Philippines System that aims to educate and inform voters about the political situation in the country and promote clean and honest elections in May 2016. Dean of Graduate School, Dr. Jose V Camacho Jr. is the UPLB Chair of the Ad hoc committee of UP sa Halalan 2016. [P]