Press Release
April 19, 2016


Rather than resorting to the iron fist, independent vice-presidential bet Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said the "Gobyernong may Puso" will fight criminality and violence by tackling their root cause: poverty.

Escudero said radical measures such as killing criminals and rebels, or extrajudicial executions, are not the solution to the peace and order problem in the country, particularly in Mindanao.

As cliché as it may sound, Escudero said the "best way to fight crime is to fight poverty," which he and his presidential running mate, Sen. Grace Poe, intend to do if they win in the coming elections.

"The root of criminality is poverty. The root of rebellion is poverty. Until and unless you address the problem of poverty, there will always be criminals, there will always be rebels," Escudero said during his recent visit to Prosperidad town in Agusan del Sur.

"Hangga't may Pilipino na hindi mapakain ng tatlong beses 'yung pamilya nya, hangga't may Pilipino na hindi kayang mapagamot 'yung mahal nya sa buhay, hangga't may Pilipino na hindi mapag-aral ang lahat ng anak nya, palaging may kakapit sa patalim para gumawa ng krimen o umakyat sa bundok," he added.

Escudero and Poe are running under the platforms of rapid and inclusive growth, poverty alleviation, transparency in government and global competitiveness.

The tandem plans to allocate at least P300 billion from the national budget for the agriculture sector that hosts 60 percent of the nation's poor; P600 billion for social services such as education, health, pension and housing; and P1 trillion for Mindanao, where some of the poorest provinces are located.

The seasoned lawmaker said that fighting poverty will be at the center of the Poe administration's policy.

If the government will have solid poverty reduction policies and programs, Escudero said there can be an assurance that the Kidapawan tragedy, where three protesting farmers died while begging for food for their starving families, will not happen again.

"'Yung magsasaka na nagpapakain sa atin, walang makain. Ang hinihingi nila bigas, ang ibinigay ng gobyerno bala. Kung may papatayin tayo, dapat ang patayin natin ay gutom at hindi 'yung gutom. Kung may papatayin tayo dapat 'yun ay ang kahirapan, huwag ang mahirap," Escudero pointed out.

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