Vice presidential candidate Alan Peter Cayetano published his own open letter in response to presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda’s previous post about him being the “sanitizer” for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s “reckless, callous statements."
In Lacierda's post, he also urged Cayetano and Senator Aquilino Pimentel III to “not resort to the same line of defense” that Vice President Jejomar Binay employs in the face of controversy.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Cayetano said that he is glad that Lacierda has time to reflect on recent events, pertaining to the recent hidden wealth issues being hurled at Cayetano's running mate Duterte.
But the vice presidential aspirant also criticized the current administration.
“Ako ay naniniwala sa sinasabi sa Bibliya; kung ano ang itinanim mo, iyon din ang aanihin mo. Kaya kung tinanim ay krimen, droga at korapsyon, ang aanihin ay kahirapan at gulo. At iyan ang nararanasan ng bayan natin ngayon sa ilalim ng inyong pamumuno,” Cayetano said in his reply letter.
(I believe in what the Bible says. You reap what you sow. So if you sow crime, drugs and corruption, you will reap poverty and chaos. And that is what our nation is experiencing right now under your leadership.)
He then mentioned all the controversies the Aquino administration continues to face, such as the unending tanim-bala (planted bullet) issue, the Freedom of Information bill that has not yet been passed, the traffic situation in Metro Manila and the plight of the Kidapawan farmers.
The senator further wrote: “Alam mo Edwin, sa loob ng limang taon, paulit-ulit kong pinapaalala sa administrasyon ang kahalagahan ng mga panukalang batas at programa na dapat isulong upang mapalakas ang ating demokratikong institusyon laban sa katiwalian. Nakakalungkot, dahil sa inyong ‘selective justice' at ‘selective anti-corruption campaign,’ inyong napabayaang isakatuparan ang mga reporma para hindi na maulit ang mga pang-aabuso.”
(You know Edwin, for five years, I kept on reminding the administration of the need for bills and programs that fortify our democratic institution against corruption. Sadly, because of your 'selective justice' and 'selective anti-corruption campaign,' you failed to realize the necessary reforms to stop the abuse of power.)
Cayetano also criticized how the administration refused to let go of officials like agriculture secretary Prospero Alcala and transportation secretary Jun Abaya, who the senator deems to have been corrupt and inefficient.
Regarding Lacierda’s statement urging Cayetano and Pimentel to turn their backs on the Davao mayor, Cayetano said that even before he and Duterte decided to become running mates, the senator already took time to get to know the mayor deeper, saying he “made it certain to know the good mayor well."
"I have visited his humble house. I have seen how his city of Davao takes the campaign against corruption seriously. And the truth is, while Mayor Duterte is far from perfect, he is not corrupt,” Cayetano added.
“The corrupt you despise so much are hiding in the very government you represent and defend,” he said to Lacierda through the open letter.
With regards to the issue Duterte currently faces about his alleged hidden cash assets with the Bank of the Philippine Islands, Cayetano said that even “before signing bank secrecy waivers became fashionable, as early as March 11, Mayor Duterte and I signed a waiver and sent copies to our rivals so they may do the same. Sadly, none of them, not even your candidate, heeded our request. Yet when Mayor Duterte became target of a well-oiled negative campaign, your candidate suddenly became the champion of bank waivers. What grand hypocrisy!”
Cayetano added that in the administration’s desire to continue the “Tuwid na Daan” governance, it is “demonizing the people’s chosen alternative.”
“You try to scare people of an uncertain and dangerous future. You and your ilk call Mayor Duterte a monster and label his supporters indecent. But really, where is the decency in a government that succumbed to incompetence, indifference and corruption?” Cayetano wrote.
The senator ended his letter by expressing his confidence that amidst all the issues and controversies, his running mate will emerge triumphant in the upcoming national elections.
“Kami’y nananalig sa Panginoon, at nananalig sa ating mga kababayan, mananalo si Mayor Duterte, mananaig ang tunay na pagbabago.”
(We have faith in the Lord, and we have faith in our fellow people, Mayor Duterte will win, and real change will prevail.)
Read the full text of Cayetano's open letter here: