PDP-Laban senatorial bets (from left) Rodante Marcoleta, Robin Padilla, Salvador Panelo, Rey Langit, and Greco Belgica (Facebook photo)

MANILA – Two senatorial aspirants of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) slate bared their plans on how to contribute to the country’s development in an interview with President Rodrigo Duterte.

In the initial episode of “The President’s Chatroom” aired Saturday night, Duterte held separate talks with former Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chief Greco Belgica and House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta.

Belgica emphasized the need to replicate Duterte’s policies, including efforts to crack down on crime, drugs, and corruption.

Sa nakita ko sa inyo, sa pag-obserba ko sa inyo, tutularan ko po kayo. Ang lahat ng polisiya niyo gagawin ko pong batas para may katakutan ang mga kriminal, durugista at korap (What I see from observing you, I want to emulate you. I will turn all your policies into law so that criminals, drug lords, and corrupt will have something to fear),” Belgica told Duterte.

He will also push for the revival of capital punishment, particularly for so-called heinous crimes and strengthen the justice system.

Belgica explained that he would start by hiring more judges, prosecutors, and investigators so that the turnover of cases would be quicker.

Palalakasin ko po ang justice system para kagaya ninyo, mabilis nadedesisyunan ang mga kaso. Palalakasin ko po ang napaka-passive na anti-corruption law dahil wala po tayong pag-uusapang progress, economic recovery, pandemic recovery kung patuloy -- kung may droga at kalat ang krimen sa kalye (I will strengthen the justice system so that cases can be decided quickly like you. I will strengthen the very passive anti-corruption law because we will not talk about progress, economic recovery, pandemic recovery if it continues -- if there are drugs and crime on the streets),” he said.

As for anti-corruption efforts, he said agencies should work together for these to be successful.

Itatatag ko po ‘yung national anti-corruption council, ikakabit ko po sa Ombudsman para naka-organize po sila hanggang sa local government at lalagyan ko po ng anti-corruption police para po mas aktibo, nagbi-build up ang case, nang-e-entrap, nanghuhuli (I will establish a national anti-corruption council and will attach it to the Ombudsman so it is organized. I will appoint an anti-corruption police in every local government so we are more active in building up cases, entrapment, and arrest),” he added.

On the other hand, Marcoleta said he would ensure the continuation of Duterte’s infrastructure program.

“Napaka-importante po nu’n sapagkat kapag nalatag ‘yung infrastructure backbone po ng ating bansa, alam naman po natin maa-attract ang investments hindi lamang dito sa bansa natin, lalong-lalo na po sa ibang mga bansa na pupunta sa ating bayan para dito magbukas ng maraming negosyo at ‘yun ang magiging simula kung papaano natin mapapalago ang ating ekonomiya (It is very important because when the infrastructure backbone of our country is laid down, we know that we will attract investments here and from other countries and that will be the beginning of the economy's growth),” Marcoleta said.

He stressed the need to ensure peace and order to facilitate the growth of investments.

Hinahanap din po, Mr. President, ng mga mamumuhunan ‘yung stability ng isang bansa. Kapag magulo po ‘yung bansa, hindi po ako maniniwala na talagang uunlad ito sa inaasahan nating pag-unlad (Investors also look for the the stability of a country. When the country is in turmoil, I do not believe that it will achieve the development we expect),” he added.

Marcoleta would push for a pre-audit system in the disbursement of public funds to prevent controversies involving the findings of the Commission on Audit.

Hindi po dapat post-audit, dapat pre-audit. Iyan po ‘yung mga iba’t ibang nais kong ayusin sana (It should not be post-audited, it should be pre-audited. Those are the different things I would like to fix),” he said.

Moreover, he wants the Department of Education (DepEd) to discontinue publishing books.

He cited Republic Act 8047 or the Book Publishing Industry Development Act which mandates DepEd to consult the National Book Development Board about public school and textbook publishing, and the participation of private publishers in the public school textbook program. (PNA)