MANILA, Philippines – Rappler editors named Grace Poe and Mar Roxas the winners of the set of "face-off" and "fast talk" rounds of the third and final presidential debate Sunday, April 24, at the University of Pangasinan – PHINMA education network in Dagupan City.
In the "face-off" round, candidates were paired off and prepared questions to ask each other.
Poe once more answered citizenship issues raised by Binay, echoing the previous debate. She said that her previous time abroad allowed her to see opportunities for improvements in the Philippines, and that being away did not mean she loved the Philippines any less. It's a good way to reinforce previous statements she's already consistently made.
Though Duterte cited his track record, highlighting the Davao City’s Women Development Code – adopted by other local government units in the Philippines – Poe pushed back, saying this did not mean he could continue saying offensive things about women.
Responding to Poe's query about the controversial rape remark, Duterte clarified: “There was no malice in that. It was just a narration,” he said, repeating that the scandalous remark was first said in 1989 and he had repeated it to be accurate in his narration. He has admitted the remark was offensive and he had apologized for it years ago.
Roxas used his time to ask Binay to answer corruption charges and allegations, which Binay ignored, saying that his detractors would always see what they wanted to see. Instead he opted to speak about his own platforms.
Asked to give examples of "academic, professional, and moral" excellence by Santiago, for whom these are critical criteria for a national leader, Roxas brought up his Wharton diploma, his decades of experience in the executive and legislative branches, and his track record (free of corruption allegations).
Duterte did not ask Santiago any question.
Fast talk: Roxas
In the "fast talk" round, candidates were asked a series of questions in quick succession, which they needed to answer briefly. In these rounds, candidates were confronted with issues they faced in the past.
In this round, Roxas came out swinging, quick to the draw with very specific counter-arguments. He was clear on his stances on the various questions.
On the bullet-planting scheme, he said this was being investigated – and offered a solution to fix it, adjusting the location of the scanners.
On his criticized actions following typhoon Yolanda, he said he did all he could and risked his life in that period.
Grace Poe answered more follow-up questions to the citizenship issue, including queries about her husband's American citizenship, which she said he's already renounced.
Duterte was asked questions about whether he would be a good role model for the youth, what cabinet positions he would give to women, among others.
Santiago answered questions on her health, medical marijuana, and the Marcoses.
Binay was asked about possibly impeaching the Ombudsman, Marcos' ill-gotten wealth, and his involvement with the Ampatuans, among others.
Rappler editors judged the winner based on the following criteria:
The event was organized by the Commission of Elections (Comelec) in partnership with ABS-CBN and Manila Bulletin.