PH gov't mishandled Sabah conflict, Belgica says
MANILA -- The Philippine government should prove that it is not a "weakling" when it comes to defending its people in Sabah, a senatorial candidate said Friday.
In an interview with ANC's "Headstart", Greco Belgica said the Philippine government mishandled the Sabah issue by making the country look like a "pushover."
He said the Philippines should have shown the Malaysian government that it is prepared for war anytime and ready to fight for its claim over the disputed territory.
"I don't propose war. I propose peace. But the only way to achieve peace is to let your enemies know that you're ready to get into war at any given time," he said.
Belgica added: "Anong gagawin mo pag...everybody knows you're a push over, will you ever have peace? Pag alam ng kapitbahay mo na batuk-batukan 'to, walang magagawa 'to, you will never have peace."
The 34-year-old senatorial bet also said that instead of merely engaging the camp of self-proclaimed Sultan Jamalul Kiram III in a dialogue, the Philippine government should have sent military troops to Sabah to help the sultan's some 200 followers fight against Malaysian security forces.
"Nilusob tayo eh, sila nauna. Pinasok nila lugar natin, pinatay mga Pilipino, under threat mga Filipinos dun. What do you do, makikipagusap ka eh sinasaktan ka? Anong action dapat dun? Padalhan mo ng tangke, eroplano, padalhan mo ng sundalo para protektahan," he said.
Progressive tax a 'corrupt' system
Meanwhile, Belgica also hit the Philippine government's tax system, saying that it allows taxpayers to commit corrupt practices.
"Ito po 'yung corrupt system na pagbabayad ng buwis. 'Yung mayayaman nakakalusot po dito. Instead of paying the right taxes, they end up paying less taxes," he said.
"I think less than 1 percent ang nagbabayad ng tamang buwis, that's because of the progressive tax system. Ang nagbabayad lang po ng tamang buwis mahihirap dahil withheld ang taxes, mga empleyado," he continued.
Belgica, who is running under the Democratic Party of the Philippines (DPP), said what the country needs is a flat tax system where all Filipinos, rich and poor, will have a flat tax rate of 10 percent.
With the flat tax system, he believes tax collections in the country will increase by 40 percent in just a year.
"Kapag finlat tax po natin, bababa ang presyo ng lahat ng bilihin, pagkain, tubig, kuryente, pamasahe, gasolina at lalaki naman ang kita natin," Belgica said.