The Leader I Want: Diosdado Valeroso’s to-fix list for 2016

MANILA, Philippines – Diosdado Valeroso, a retired police chief superintendent whose name recently resurfaced following the 2015 Mamasapano incident, joins this year’s senatorial elections under the Partido Lakas ng Masa party.

Valeroso made news after he claimed holding an alleged recording of a conversation between two top government officials discussing an alleged cover-up of the Mamasapano operation that killed at least 60 people – including 44 members of the national police's Special Action Force (SAF).

A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy in 1982, he is also known as one of the founders of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) that helped bring down the Marcos dictatorship, and the Young Officers Union (YOU) that was linked in coup attempts during the administration of Corazon Aquino. (READ: The shadow that was YOU)

Valeroso retired in 2015 as deputy for administration of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

As part of Rappler #PHvote's "The Leader I Want" series, we look at his stand on the key issues that senatorial bets will have to address in Friday's debate.

Corruption, transparency

Valeroso advocates transparency in government, saying it will lead to reduction of corruption.

When government is transparent especially on how taxes are imposed, collected and used for programmed expenditures, the people become more confident of their government and they tend to become more responsible citizens,” he said.

He aims to promote political stability and eliminate graft in the bureaucracy by having “a cleanup of agencies.”

He added that he’s in favor of pushing for the Freedom of Information bill. “We need vital information to push through with investigations,” he said.

Social inequality, justice

In a statement, Valeroso expressed “being troubled by the inhumanity” during the dispersal of farmers in Kidapawan, and asked fellow policemen “not to allow themselves to be used as killers by the capitalist-haciendero politicians, and to unite with our farmers in their fight for food, land and justice.”

He added: “We are facing the brunt of El Niño phenomenon that wrought drought and devastation to certain agricultural areas in Mindanao. The problem of drought and hunger was solved by a hail of bullets against our own farmers who were asking for food subsidies. Have we degenerated into a country of calloused-hearted morons? Social revolution is the answer to this injustice and oppression!”

As for the Mamasapano incident, he insisted that the Senate should invite him in the hearings so he could present the evidence he is holding.

Disaster risk reduction, environment

Valeroso is one of the senatorial candidates who agreed to include environmental issues in their legislative platforms.

He is one of those who pledged to commit with the Green Thumb Coalition, which pushes for "the discussion of disaster risk reduction, sustainable communities, food security, and waste management in the electoral platform for 2016."

OFW

In a profile report, it was stated the Valeroso has background in assisting overseas Filipino workers, particularly in China.

“He represented the country well as our police attaché at China. He worked hard to protect the welfare of OFWs based there,” said in the report.

Mindanao

In a GMA interview, Valeroso didn't give a direct answer when asked if he's in favor of or against the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

But he said he has an alternative to it, which he would call "The Right to Self-Determination Bill". This bill, he said, will recognize the sovereignty of not just the Moros but also of other groups such as the Lumad and other indigenous people's groups. – with research by Noa Carrascoso and Kathleen Abenales/Rappler.com

Diosdado Valeroso is among the senatorial candidates who will participate in Rappler's #TheLeaderIWant Senatorial Debates at the Far Eastern University on Friday, April 22, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm.