VACC leader supports Duterte for president

ABS-CBN News

MANILA - One of the leaders of the anti-crime watchdog Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) will support Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte if he runs for president in 2016.

In an interview over radio dzMM, VACC board member Arsenio "Boy" Evangelista said the group is on the same page as Duterte, particularly in pushing for the revival of the death penalty.

"Nagshu-shoot up siya (Duterte) from local to national, nare-recognize siya dahil 'yung mandato niya, nafi-feel nating lahat na meron tayong kakampi, na may paglalagyan 'tong mga kriminal na 'to," he said.

Evangelista said the popularity of Duterte among possible presidential candidates in 2016 only shows that the crime rate in the country is not going down, contrary to the data released by the Philippine National Police (PNP) last week.

"Sa datos, kinokontra namin 'yan. Bakit dumadami ang members namin sa VACC? Months after the incident, hindi sila (kin of crime victims) makakuha ng sagot sa PNP o sa lahat ng agencies ng gobyerno. So sila, pumupunta sa VACC, 'yun ang totoong datos namin," he said.

Evangelista said the death penalty may not be the best solution to fight crime, but the VACC believes it is one of the major steps that can be taken by the government.

He said if the death penalty fails to deter crime, then the government can just junk it.

"Kami sa VACC tingin namin, it's one of the major solutions. Bakit 'di po natin subukan, kahit na mga five years lang, pag naging deterrent, tanggalin natin uli," he said.

Meanwhile, Evangelista said they agree with new what PNP chief, Police Director Ricardo Marquez, said about the need for police visibility.

However, weeks after Marquez made the statement, he said he still cannot see police officers in some crime-prone areas in Manila.

Still, Evangelista is hoping that Marquez will make good on his promise of increasing police visibility on the streets.