Ex-PDEA chief, Sandra Cam support Duterte candidacy

Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Senatorial candidates former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Dionisio Santiago and whistleblower Sandra Cam support the presidential candidacy of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Speaking to radio dzMM Tuesday, Santiago, who filed his candidacy as an independent, and Cam, under the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, said they are being carried by the tandem of Duterte and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

Santiago is also included in the senatorial line-up of the tandem of Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., but he said he is more inclined to vote for Duterte.

"Ang advocacy ko drugs ko eh so Duterte ang nalilinyahan ko," Santiago said on "Ikaw na ba? Ang Senador para sa Pamilyang Pilipino."

"I believe in him," Cam likewise said. "Ang good governance nasa kanya, nakikita ko, anti-corruption. We need radical change in our country."

Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, national president of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), however said they will no longer endorse any senatorial candidate for the May 9 elections.

Santiago and Cam, who have appeared in the Duterte-Cayetano duo's campaign sorties, said they respect the decision of the party, but they will nonetheless support the presidential bid of Duterte.

READ: Duterte gov't to wipe out criminality in 6 months - Cayetano

DRUGS, DEATH PENALTY, WHISTLEBLOWERS

Santiago, who is also a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), his main priority if and when elected senator is "3D": drugs, defense, and development.

He said he will push for amendments in the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, which, he said, has provisions that are "anti-poor."

"Tapos magdadagdag tayo ng ibang batas na pwedeng mabago yung structure ng ating anti-drug enforcement campaign," he said.

Cam, who heads the Whistleblowers Association of the Philippines, said she will push for the passage of a whistleblower act and the freedom of information (FOI) bill, and also push for free tertiary education for all.

Both senatorial aspirants said they want the death penalty to be restored in the country for those who commit heinous crimes such as convicted drug lords and rapists.

"Di na dapat natin buhayin pa ang mga ito. Kasi ito, ang dami pang mapapatay, mamatay na mga bata dahil sa kanila. So I would rather see them in heaven or in hell," said Cam.

Cam also said she supports the anti-political dynasty bill. "Kailangan na po natin na pagbigyan din yung mga bagong mukha, yung mga walang pangalan pero may tunay na puso sa pagsilbi at hindi kurakot."

SSS PENSION, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Both also agreed that contractualization should be stopped to protect workers. They also said the pension of Social Security System (SSS) members should be increased.

According to Santiago, the SSS pension hike bill should not have been vetoed by the President, saying that there should have been a compromise if the proposed P2,000-increase was too high.

Meanwhile, Santiago and Cam also weighed in on same-sex marriage, amid the criticisms another senatorial candidate, Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, has received for describing couples in same-sex marriages as worse than animals.

Cam said she is also against same-sex marriage, while Santiago stressed that love is a "human right."

"Pareho kami ng stand, no to same sex marriage. Kaya lang mali yung kanyang (Pacquiao) pag-eeksplika," Cam said.

"Love is a human right... So kung saan sila maligaya, ako medyo mas praktikal ako sa ganun," said Santiago.

READ: Pacquiao apologizes for anti-LGBT remark

The two candidates urged the Filipino people to vote for them despite being new faces in politics.

"Puro po ang aking puso. Walang pera pero kaya pong lumaban," said Cam.

"Ako po ay 44 years na public servant. Ang heart ko nasa public service... Siguro kayo na ho ang magsabi kung yung aking serbisyo sa gobyerno, kayo na ang mag-judge," said Santiago.

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