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Risa Hontiveros wins 1st round of Rappler senatorial debate – netizens

MANILA, Philippines – Health advocate Risa Hontiveros Baraquel won the first round of the 2nd Rappler Senatorial Debate, according to netizens.

More than half or 53% of those who took Rappler’s poll liked Hontiveros’ performance the best during the round when all candidates were asked, “Why are you the leader we want?”

Hontiveros said her passion to improve health services in the country sets her apart from other candidates. She emphasized her push for legislation that would create “super barangay health centers equipped with in-patient facilities and enough manpower, funded by sin tax revenues.”

“We can tighten legislation against hospitals that demand a deposit before accepting emergency cases. This is a fight we can win with both vision and hardwork,” said Hontiveros, a former director of PhilHealth.

Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin Gatchalian came in second place, according to netizens. Gatchalian talked about his goal of making tuition fees in state universities and colleges free, insisting the government has enough funds for the program which would cost P15 billion, according to his computations. Gatchalian got 20% of the votes. 

Third place went to Dick Gordon even though he was not present for the round because he was stuck in traffic.

Former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Dionisio Santiago, running on an anti-crime platform, and academic Walden Bello got 6.67% of votes each.

Voters were least impressed with former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who said her priority as senator would be to reform the Penal Code. Only 3.33% of those who took the poll voted for her. – Rappler.com