SENATE Majority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday hit back vice presidential contender Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo for criticizing the alleged "violence" campaign of his running-mate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
According to a newspaper report, Robredo said Duterte's drive to fight against illegal acts in the country "could be dangerous."
"Duterte stands for order, not violence," Cayetano said. "Instead of attacking Mayor Duterte, let's duly recognize his accomplishments, learn and find ways how his success can be replicated in other cities."
Cayetano scored Robredo for comparing her and her husband's, late Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, achievements in Naga City to that of Duterte's in Davao City.
"With all due respect to Representative Leni, I think she is wide off the mark on this one. Davao’s crime volume is way below compared to Naga or Metro Manila, which are currently at alarming levels," he said.
Cayetano said Davao is now the fourth safest city in the world with a low crime index of 17.94, according to the latest data released by user-contributed survey site Numbeo.
The senator also noted the reported decrease in the entire region's crime volume in the first quarter this year, as compared to the same period of last year, according to Davao Region Police Regional Office.
On the other hand, Cayetano said Naga's crime volume has reached alarming levels for six months of this year.
From January to July 2015, the total crime volume reached 5,692, with only a few points smaller than the combined total crime volume of the other five cities in Bicol, he said.
"Many of those who are moved by Mayor Duterte's leadership are inspired by his achievements in promoting peace and good governance. They are certainly not advocates of violence as many of them are in fact victims of crime," Cayetano said.
"What they want is a leader with bold solutions and swift action, a leader that will restore order, rule of law, and equity. This is what Mayor Duterte and his brand of leadership bring," he added.
Cayetano said "pointless political bickering" should stop and that everyone should instead work together for the betterment of the country. (Sunnex)