SYDNEY, Australia – After taking a dig at the leftist senatorial bet, President Aquino urged Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño to help government collate evidence and file cases to solve extrajudicial killings and alleged human rights abuses.
Aquino emphasized that his administration has no policy to engage in extrajudicial killings and that it respects due process.
He said the government is exerting efforts to arrest suspected perpetrators of human rights abuses, including retired Mayor General Jovito Palparan.
"Mag-file sila ng kaso, tulungan kaming makalikom ng ebidensya, pero kung merong base kami na ang magpo-prosecute… kung walang pinagbago na magsasalita nang magsasalita tapos… pwede ba 'yung may ia-accuse sila kaagad guilty? May proseso tayo e,” he told reporters.
“'Yun ang masasabi nating nakikipagtulungan sila kung may ganyang kondisyon na iwaksi 'yung ganyang kondisyon. Pero kung salita ka nang salita na ayaw mong makihalo sa paglulutas ng krimen kung may krimeng nangyari e ano ba ang pinapakita mo doon, 'di ba? Tapos sasabihin naman nila tuta ako ng 'Kano pero sila ang nagsabing actions speak louder than words."
The President first took a dig at Casiño when he highlighted the senatorial aspirant's poor pre-election survey ratings during an interview with Radio New Zealand.
Asked to comment about groups criticizing his administration's human rights record, Aquino cited leftist groups being "very good at propaganda.”
He also noted that one senatorial candidate backed by leftist groups is faring poorly in pre-election surveys. While he did not name names, the leftist Makabayan Coalition has only fielded one candidate - Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño - for the 2013 senatorial election.
Casiño placed in the bottom two of potential Senate bets in a recent Pulse Asia survey.
"We have a very vocal leftist community but if the surveys are any indication, they have a senatorial candidate-our senators are elected at large throughout the nation-and this person currently has 2.6 percent of the population voting for him which is very, very little 'cause there's only the 12 candidates out of about 27 I think who are running this time around who will have seats in the Senate,” Aquino said.
In response, Casiño said Aquino also fared poorly in surveys until his mother, the late President Cory Aquino, died in 2009.
"Let me remind the President that before his mother died, he did not even rate in any survey nor was considered by anyone to be of presidential calibre. In fact, he only became senator because of his lineage and the heroic efforts of his mother and sister," he said in a statement.
"So before he derides me or any candidate for that matter for rating low in the surveys, he should look at himself first. Trust me, Mr. President, if I had Ninoy and Cory as parents, I'd probably be in your shoes too, except that I would not look down on ordinary mortals like me who have no political pedigree like yours but who have every right to serve the country as congressman or senator, for that matter."