Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

‘Fix the system to catch the big crooks’

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“We really need to fix the systems and the mechanisms para matakot na talaga ang tao (so people would be scared).”

Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano made this statement in an interview with RMN Iloilo on September 8, 2021, saying what is happening now is that the government runs after the small fry but leaves big-time crooks untouched, particularly in the use of the country’s COVID-19 budget.

“(Ang) nangyayari, baligtad. Parang ngayon, ‘wag magnakaw ng maliit kasi nahuhuli. Magnakaw ka ng malaki para makawala,” he said.

(What happens now is the opposite. People are told not to steal in small amounts but in big amounts to avoid getting caught.)

“Hindi nagbabago y’ung aking attitude na y’ung totoo, dapat lumabas. Ang nakakapagod lang [ay] parang sirang plaka. Parang replay na lang nang replay y’ung corruption sa ating bansa. Akala natin wala na, babalik na naman,” he said.

(My attitude toward the truth is unchanging: it should be revealed. But it is getting tiring because the issue of corruption has become like a broken record – an issue replayed in the country. Whenever we think we are corruption-free, it comes back.)

However, Cayetano said that in pursuit of truth, the country should not forget the lives and the livelihoods of the people.

He said the health, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, and the livelihoods of the people should still be the focus of the government’s efforts against COVID-19.

The former Speaker said it is in this sense that he is “seriously considering” running for the presidency in next year’s elections. 

“I really feel na it’s time for a Bible-based, Christ-centered, inclusive, faith-based, at values-oriented na pamumuno na talagang kung ano ang pagkukulang ay may prinsipyong pinaglalaban at solusyong mahahanap,” he said.

(I really feel that it is time for a Bible-based, Christ-centered, inclusive, faith-based, and values-oriented leadership. One that is with principle and can provide solutions.)

He noted that among the issues he would like to tackle are the proliferation of online cockfighting betting (e-sabong), online casinos (e-casinos), and the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

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