MANILA — Should the tandem of PDP-LABAN standard bearer Rodrigo Duterte and running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, proved victorious in the May 9 elections, it will only take them one month to distribute the coco levy fund to the farmers.
“All it takes is political will. The Supreme Court already decided to return the fund to the farmers. Thus, if elected, in just the first month of our term, Alan and I will immediately give the fund back to the coconut farmers. Failure to do so is tantamount to estafa,” Duterte said.
And when asked to comment on the statements made by fellow presidential bet Sen. Grace Poe and her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, which allegedly protected some business quarters from any responsibility for settling the funds, Duterte said it was the senators’ problem.
“It’s their problem. As far as I’m concerned, Alan and I will only protect the interest and welfare of the coconut farmers. If other candidates prefer to protect the big and powerful, we, on the other hand, will protect the small and the weak,” the PDP-LABAN standard bearer bet said.
Meanwhile, Cayetano described Poe’s and Escudero’s stand on the issue as lacking both in knowledge and courage.
He said Poe’s position to absolve certain quarters was grossly erroneous, noting how two 2015 executive orders for the supposed distribution of the funds were suspended due to a petition filed by the Philippine Coconut Producers Federation (COCOFED), an alleged dummy organization.
“Ang kailangan sa issue na ito ay matapang na solusyon at mabilis na aksyon. Hindi pupwede dito ang protektor ng mayayaman o liderato na pateka-teka,” Cayetano said. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA/northboundasia.com