And just like that, Judgment Day is right around the corner.
On Monday, May 9, the whole Filipino electorate will vote for the people they want to lead them and at the same time, mend a few broken fences caused by the campaign period that is turning more hostile by the day.
The PiliPinas Debates 2016 is over and done with; the candidates are down to their last days of winning the hearts of locals in out-of-town sorties; all that mudslinging and black propaganda have already done their damage; and yet you still haven't made up your mind on who you think is right, particularly, for the presidency.
Ever the concerned citizen, FHM will try to aid you in this crucial decision-making, through an informative series that will shed light on the stuff that really matter about your wannabe presidents: Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe, and former Interior secretary Mar Roxas.
With all the dubious links and fake-ass news stories your unwitting friends and tech-unsavvy relatives share on social media, what you, the voters, need are hard facts straight from the horse's mouth. FHM's "Your President's Plan" is here to collate each candidate's plan of attack for four issues of national significance, through uttered words and submitted platforms.
Theft. Rape. Murder. Corruption.
Mere mention of these words paints a grave picture of our national safety and security's current situation. The frequency and emphasis driven by the media has turned these atrocities into top-of-mind concerns because, no matter how careful you are, the chance of being victimized—even in its simplest forms (snatching)—is scarily normal.
Based on an August 2015 PNP report, there has been a 46 percent increase of crimes committed nationwide during the first six months. The statistics are quite alarming, but what's more appalling is these crooks' blatant disregard for the law and the value of human life.
Scandals, meanwhile, mostly involve government officials themselves—the Maguindanao and Mamasapano tragedies, plunder and pork-barrel cases, and the "Tanim Bala" scheme that embarrassingly got us international infamous.
When is enough truly enough? Our streets are not safe anymore; there are doubts hovering over the public office. This is something that our future leaders need to address immediately, in order to take justice back and bring social order in our country.
Now, what do our candidates have to say?
Unsurprisingly, all candidates want to eradicate the drug problem in accordance with the law. Duterte takes a step further by claiming he can solve it within a shorter time frame and, if need be, through the use of force.
"If I become president, it will be bloody." —Duterte, PiliPinas Debates 2016
On the other hand, Poe reasoned that aside from the inevitable violence, there should also be justice—"katarungan na may pagkain, may sapat na kita, na makapag-aral ang lahat, mapagkatiwalaan ang mga namumuno, at ligtas kayo saan man kayo pumunta..."
ON THE POLICE AND MILITARY
Santiago and Binay both put their focus on the improvement of budget, equipment, and training of law enforcers. The latter stated that "under my government, he will provide a decisive and efficient leadership that will respect and abide by the established principle of the PNP chain of command. Under my watch, there will be no more Mamasapanos." Santiago, meanwhile, believes criminal records should also be easily accessible during investigations.
Duterte plans to utilize the police force and even the military in his obsessive quest for a drug-free country. Similarly, Poe made reduction, if not total eradication, of crime her own personal crusade by "making sure the police have the acquired discipline and skills to immediately deal with crime." Although she admits we still need to increase the number of our police force delegated to actual crime fighting rather than being assigned to administrative work.
"Their job is not just to log crimes, but to catch the criminals." —Poe, during her declaration last year
ON TERRORISM AND MEDIA KILLINGS
The candidates had their own different approach in solving the Mindanao problem:
Roxas believes peace can be achieved through the Bangsamoro Basic Law, while Poe is willing to coordinate with the country's foreign allies. "Kung ano ang maitutulong ng ating mga allies, lalung-lalo na sa intelligence gathering kung nasaan sila, dapat ay tanggapin natin," Poe said.
Duterte vows to end conflict in Mindanao by boosting the capability of the Armed Forces, while Santiago proposes the dismantlement of private armies.
"Iyan nangggaling sa isang politiko diyan na maraming ninakaw sa gobyerno kayang-kaya niya magpatakbo ng private army." —Santiago, ABS-CBN News
ON PENALTIES AND SANCTION
True to his audacious nature, Duterte believes imposing the death penalty to plunderers is one way of ridding the nation of corruption. However, even if Poe deems the idea to be acceptable, she expressed doubts of impartiality among the presidential appointees in the Supreme Court, especially with how "'very overburdened' and 'very politicized' our courts are when it comes to plunder cases."
For his part, Roxas maintains that the crime rate had already been considerably reduced when he was the DILG secretary. Based on documented police reports, many most-wanted criminals have been served warrants and are now detained, thanks to "Oplan Lambat/Sibat."
"Ang krimen, nilulutas sa batas, hindi dahas. Ang gulo, nilulutas sa pamamagitan ng kalye at kabuhayan, hindi sa pulbura." —Roxas, PiliPinas Debates 2016
Click here for the rest of FHM's "Your President's Plan," where we discuss each candidate's plan regarding traffic, the economy, and China.