IF ELECTED, Senate aspirant Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco said she will put emphasis on public safety, the environment, agriculture and housing for the poor.
She will also propose to make Barangay Health Workers (BHW) regular government employees and review the criminal justice system so that jail inmates, particularly the women, do not have to spend more time behind bars than the sentence imposed by the court.
Cojuangco, who was governor of Tarlac from 1992 to 1998, answered questions from Sun.Star Cebu editors and reporters, as well as those posted by Sun.Star Cebu’s Twitter followers.
Cojuangco said during her visit yesterday that her advocacy on public safety makes her unique from other Senate aspirants. She said public safety should not be compromised and should be an investment prerequisite.
u201cI’m talking about this as a mother,” she said, citing risks on the road and at home due to fire.
In ensuring public safety, she raised the need for regular checks on the seaworthiness of passengers ships, and improving fire prevention measures, as well as disaster preparedness and management.
She also cited the need to improve national defense, and the possibility of tapping nuclear development.
u201cTen years ago, I would have said no...but now. I'd like to think more about that (nuclear development),” Cojuangco said. But she added that nuclear development should involve weighing defense implications with the environmental risks.
Asked why she is not running with the Liberal Party being the aunt of President Benigno Aquino III, Cojuangco said she has been a member of the Pilipino Democratic Party-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) since 1992.
PDP-Laban coalesced with the Partido ng Masang Pilipino of former president Joseph Estrada and formed the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
On questions about her residency in Maguindanao, she said wanted to help Mindanao, particularly its farmers.
Cojuangco has studied Mindanao’s culture for years, implemented several humanitarian projects for Muslim communities and participated in peace talks with the Moro National Liberation Front.
Asked about the Cojuangcos being a political dynasty, she said: “They call us a political dynasty, but when we were fighting for Ninoy (the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr.) and freedom, how come no one called us a dynasty then?”