3rd presidential debate a 'teleserye' for voters

PANGASINAN, Philippines – Seven Filipinos ask the candidates about their plans in the last presidential debate held at the PHINMA University of Pangasinan on Sunday, April 24.

What do the students in the province think of the debate?

Mara Cepeda reports. – Rappler.com

LAST DEBATE. Presidential candidates face off anew in the final leg of the Pilipinas Debates 2016 at the PHINMA University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City on April 24, 2016. Photo by Manila Bulletin

LAST DEBATE. Presidential candidates face off anew in the final leg of the Pilipinas Debates 2016 at the PHINMA University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City on April 24, 2016.

Photo by Manila Bulletin

A mother who commutes for 6 hours just go to work, a young man without a permanent job, and an OFW yearning to go back home.

They represent the issues that plague the Philippines today, and in the 3rd and final presidential debate, these Filipinos personally ask the candidates how they plan to address the country's problems.

Seven Filipinos across the country share their plight with Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte, Senator Grace Poe, Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago in the last leg of the PiliPinas Debates 2016 series at the PHINMA University of Pangasinan.

Fisherman Carlo Montehermozo asks about the West Philippine Sea dispute.

Perla Suan describes her family's everyday struggle through Metro Manila traffic. 

Carlos Francisco tells the candidates he still does not have a permanent job, while Cristy Guinto wonders when Filipinos would no longer need to work abroad. 

Jun Semporiano mourns the death of his father due to lack of health services. 

Single mother Amina Aguil hopes for the end of the conflict in Mindanao, while Jhessa Balbastro shares her dreams of finishing school despite grinding poverty.

Students in Pangasinan welcome the debate format.

CHRISTIAN REMOSO, STUDENT: For me, I consider myself lucky because I was able to watch the last debate when they brought in people from different sectors of the country. They belong to the poor who need help and sympathy from the public this coming May.

But he wishes the presidential bets were more straightforward in their answers.

CHRISTIAN REMOSO, STUDENT: Some did not answer the questions direct to the point. They were not able to say, articulate well the right solutions. They always use hifalutin words. If I put myself in the shoes of the poor I wouldn't understand.

The presidential candidates also face off one-on-one during one segment of the debate. 

JUNIE SISON, STUDENT: I don't know if it is mudslinging, but I think during the face-off segment, the candidates were playing it safe. The others didn't answer the questions of their co-candidates.

Christian says the last debate will be the most memorable. 

CHRISTIAN REMOSO, STUDENT: It would really influence the minds of the voters in the upcoming elections.

With May 9 half a month away, the debate in Pangasinan could turn the tide for the candidates.

JUNIE SISON, STUDENT: I am undecided but I am weighing things because this is very crucial for me and it's for my future din, 'di ba

The debate in Pangasinan is crucial as it falls within the last two weeks before the elections, the candidates' last time to woo voters. This debate may just have convinced the undecided who to vote for in May.

Mara Cepeda, Rappler, Pangasinan.