Duterte a threat to democracy – Grace Poe

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential candidate Grace Poe does not mince words following rival Rodrigo Duterte's remarks about a female Australian missionary who was raped and murdered in 1989. She calls him "dangerous," and a "threat to democracy." 

Camille Elemia reports.

He's a threat to democracy. 

Thats what presidential bet Grace Poe says about her closest rival Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Three weeks before May 9, Poe lambasts Duterte, after his highly controversial rape joke. 

Poe says Duterte's plans of action on peace and order are threats to the country's democracy and freedom. Duterte says he will eradicate the restore peace and order in 3 - 6 months through an iron fist leadership.

GRACE POE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Absolutely. Ito po ay banta sa ating kalayaan at demokrasya 'yung mga bagay na 'minumungkahi kaya ako talagang nababahala ukol dito.

(Absolutely. His suggestions pose as threats to our freedom and democracy, so I am alarmed.)

Asked if Duterte will be a dangerous president if he wins, Poe takes a deep breath and says:

GRACE POE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ikinalulungkot ko nga. 'Yung aking sariling pananaw ito, 'no? Sa mga 'minumungkahi, oo. Ito ay banta na rin sa mga nagawa natin.

(I am saddened to say this, but this is my own opinion. His suggestions and plans for the country, yes. These are threats to what we have already accomplished.)

What Duterte meant, according to his camp, is that he wished he arrived sooner so he could have saved the rape victim. 

But Poe seems unconvinced.

GRACE POE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hindi natin pwede sabihin na ito ay reasonable, di ito resonableng pag-iisip kahit na sabihin mo na andun s'ya mismo sa line of fire or gutter talk, ito po ay nakadirekta sa biktima, hindi doon sa mga nangbiktima iyong kanyang statement.

(We can't say this is reasonable, this is not reasonable thinking even if you say he's smack in the line of fire or gutter talk – his statement is pertaining to the victim, not to the rapists.)

She then hits Duterte for the acts of his supporters, who would sometimes harass or threaten media and critics.

GRACE POE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ang totoo niyan kung anong inaasta ng iyonng leader ganun din i-aasta ng mga taga-suporta. So pag iniisip nilang tama ginagawa nyo baka lahat tayo ganun na rin.

(Truth is, supporters mirror the way their candidate acts. If they think he's doing the right thing, everyone else follows suit.)

With the recent controvery against Duterte, the new poll frontrunner, the biggest question on everyone's minds: how will this affect the mayor's standing? And will Poe benefit from this latest faux pas? 

Camille Elemia, Rappler, Las Piñas City. – Rappler.com