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Roxas delivers best closing statement – Rappler editors

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Administration candidate Manuel Roxas II said the right words and raised the right issues during his closing statement at the third and final presidential debate on Sunday, April 24, held in Dagupan, Pangasinan, according to Rappler editors.

Noting how “vicious” and “divisive” the campaign has been, Roxas said: “This is what the elections have come down to – the talkers versus the doers. Those that bring out the best in us versus those that bring out the worst in us.”

It’s a clear reference to the front runner in the polls, the tough-talking mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte, who promises change and vows to fix persistent problems on traffic and crime but who has drawn flak for his foul language. Duterte, however, was the winner of the debate, according to netizens. (READ: Who won 3rd presidential debate? Duterte again netizens' choice)

Roxas said the campaign has allowed candidates to play with Filipinos’ frustrations. But he said Filipinos must not forget that the Philippines has come a long way from being an economic laggard in Asia. “Ang iba, gagamitin ang ating frustration para lokohin tayo. Para makalimutan natin na malayo na ang narating natin... Para makalimutan natin na ang pagbabago ay hindi makakamit dahil sa paninisi.”

Roxas has been campaigning on the theme of continuity, citing the gains achieved by the Aquino administration in the last 6 years. But this has also become his handicap, because the government has also bungled in its approach to peace and order, crisis, as well as traffic. It’s also been perceived to be insensitive to Filipinos’ urban woes.

In this debate, Roxas never mentioned “Daang Matuwid,” his campaign slogan that hinges on the Aquino government’s so-called straight path.

Instead, he framed his campaign as a “fight for decency, for honesty, for our future.”

Struggling in the surveys, Roxas called on his supporters to persuade the undecided to vote for him on May 9 and “rally to our cause.”

He said” “Kumbinsihin natin ang ating mga kamag-anak, kaibigan, katrabaho, dalhin natin sa kanila ang magandang balita. Patunayan natin mas marami pa rin tayong mga disenteng Pilipino, mga mabubuting Pilipino, mga tuwid na Pilipino. Samahan niyo po ako, ipanalo natin ang laban na ito.” (Convince our relatives, friends, colleagues, and let them know the good news. Let us show to the nation that there are many decent Filipinos. Join me so we can win this fight.)

Rappler editors picked Grace Poe as winner in the round on sectoral issues. She and Roxas were winners in the face-off and fast talk rounds. – Rappler.com