2016 bets on why they should be president

Camille Elemia
2016 bets on why they should be president
Find out the closing statements of the 5 presidential bets at the PiliPinas 2016 debate in Cagayan de Oro

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential bets on Sunday, February 21, took the chance on national television to tell the public why they should be voted as the next president of the Philippines.

Each of the 5 presidential candidates had a minute to deliver their closing speech during the first PiliPinas 2016 presidential debate held in Cagayan De Oro City.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte reiterated he would end corruption, drug use, and  crimes in just 3 to 6 months.

“I am here because I love the people of the Philippines. I am a native of the Philippines. Kung bigyan niyo ko pagkakataon, this is an imposed restriction, ‘di ako nagpapabilib sa inyo (if you give me a chance… I’m not trying to impress you), I will get rid of drugs, crimes, stop corruption in government in a matter of 3 to 6 months. Without peace, we really cannot survive,” Duterte said.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, for her part, highlighted the characteristics that a president should have.

Santiago, a known academic achiever who has served various posts in the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government, said a president should have academic, professional, and moral excellence. 

“But this is not a personality concert, this is not show for entertainment. There should be academic excellence, professional excellence. Dapat binigyan siya ng award ng kapwa professionals niya dahil hanga sa kanya. Last, moral excellency walang bahid sa kanyang record,” she said. (He or she should have awards from fellow professionals because they admire him or her. Last moral excellency, no negative record.)

Vice President Jejomar Binay said he knows the plight of the poor and vowed that there would be no underspending in his administration, an issue always thrown against the Aquino administration. Underspending has been cited as a factor that dragged the Philippine economy’s growth in recent years.

Batay sa aking karanasan at tamang pamamahala at malasakit sa kapwa at mahihirap, tigilan na po natin yan underspending, underperformance – ‘di nagagamit yung dapat paggamitan,” Binay said.

(Based on my experience and with the right management and compassion for the poor, let’s stop underspending and underperformance – money isn’t spent on where it should be spent.)

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, mentioned how she plans to improve the situation in Mindanao if and when she wins president, in terms of employment and energy supply.

Una, magkaroon ng sapat na kuryente sa murang halaga. Babantayan natin ang transmission grids. Ikalawa, trabaho, bibigyan natin ng 30% of national budget sa Mindanao. Ikatlo, pakikilaban sa corruption,” Poe said.

(First, cheap electricity. We’ll keep a close eye on transmission grids. Second, jobs, and we’ll give Mindanao 30% of the national budget. Third, fighting corruption.)

Poe vowed that the first executive order she would sign as president is on the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill, a measure that has long languished in Congress.

President Benigno Aquino III also vowed to pass the FOI Bill during his presidential campaign but the measure so far remains pending.

Administration standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, for his part, said he wants to become president because he wants others to experience his fortunate life.

“May naipon ako.. alam kong maayos ang kinabukasan ng anak ko dahil nakapag-aral siya. Kampante akong may gagamot sa kanila. ‘Di ko pinoproblema pagkain nila. Gusto ko maging ganito rin ang buhay nyo. Malaya sa gutom, Malaya sa takot. Malayang mangarap… nahihiya akong harapin ang aking magulang at ang aking anak kung di ko gagawin lahat para mangyari ‘yun,” Roxas said.

(I have savings… I know my son will have a bright future because he is educated, and I am confident he will have proper health care. I don’t worry about their food. I want everyone to have this kind of life: free from hunger, free from fear, free to dream. I’ll be ashamed to face my parents and my son if I do not do anything to make that happen.)

The debate – the first in a series being mounted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and its media partners – was organized by GMA-7 and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Two more sets of presidential debates – one in Visayas and the other in Luzon – will be held in March and April. – Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com