PRESIDENTIAL candidate Rodrigo Duterte and his running mate Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday slammed senatorial bet Panfilo Lacson and vice presidential bet Francis Escudero for doubting that Duterte could solve the drug problem, criminality and corruption under his presidency in three to six months.
“This is not a bravado statement. This is to put pressure on me to immediately work and fast,” Duterte said.
Lacson, a former head of the Philippine National Police, said Duterte’s self-imposed deadline was not doable.
Solving crime needed strategic and tactical planning that would entail so much time, he said.
Cayetano challenged Escudero to a one-on-one debate after Escudero said Duterte’s promise to stamp out crime, drugs and corruption was not realistic.
“To those who lack political will, nothing is possible. But to those who have a clear vision for real change and the strength of character to do what is right, any goal can be accomplished,” Cayetano said.
He dared Escudero to withdraw if he lost in the debate.
Escudero said it was impossible for Duterte to make good on his promise to end crime and corruption in just six months.
“It can’t be done. Not within his term. The problems are too serious and deeply rooted that these cannot be easily defeated,” he said.
But Cayetano said Escudero’s cynical attitude illustrated his “lack of conviction” to end the country’s pressing problems.
“With all due respect to Senator Escudero, I’d like to reiterate what I said before. Failure is guaranteed for those who do not even want to try,” he said.
“It’s frustrating to see our fellow public servants lacking the passion and optimism to change the country. They continue to offer the same solutions that failed miserably in the past.”