Filipino comic strips

Presidential bets’ opening statements set tone of debate

Camille Elemia

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Presidential bets’ opening statements set tone of debate
Find out what the presidential bets said in their opening speech

MANILA, Philippines – Each of the 5 presidential candidates on Sunday, February 21, opened the historic first leg of the PiliPinas Debates in Cagayan de Oro City with a minute-long speech, setting the tone of their first face-off this election season.

Vice President Jejomar Binay focused on poverty in the country. Growing up poor, Binay said he very well knows what Filipinos are going through. He said his stint in government focused on poverty alleviation.

“Mula noon hanggang ngayon, kahirapan pa rin problema ng ating bayan. Laki po ko sa hirap. Sa Makati mahaba pila ng mahihirap. Maraming nagkatrabaho, nakatamasa ng magandang serbisyo. Nagawa kong pinaka-mayamang lungsod ng bansa,” Binay said.

(From then until now, poverty has been our country’s main problem. I grew up poor. Makati has long lines of poor people. Many were given jobs, got good public service. I made Makati the country’s richest city.)

Binay also touched on the corruption issues against him and his family, saying these are only black propaganda. “Siniraan ako at ang aking pamilya,” Binay said. (They maligned me and my family.)

Senator Miriam Santiago, for her part, said the Philippines is rich in both people and natural resources but remains poor because of corrupt government officials.

“Many, many things rich in this country. Rich in natural resources, rich in people resources. Why are we so poor? Because everybody wants to have the money of the government in his pocket,” Santiago said.

What the country needs now, Santiago said, is a “sense of shared destiny.”

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, for his part, reiterated he would fight drugs, corruption, and criminality if he wins the presidency.

Duterte also welcomed the presence of Santiago, saying they are the only two qualified candidates to run for president.

“I will get rid of crime, drugs, and corruption just give me 3-6 months. I will deliver,” Duterte said.

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, focused on the needs of Mindanao, saying the country relies on the island group for majority of agricultural products.

With this, Poe said she will allot 30% of the national budget to address problems in Mindanao.

“Marami na pong namuno na may karanasan pero ang kailangan ay tunay na malasakit, mabilis kumilos, at agarang makakabigay ng solusyon,” Poe said.

(There have been many leaders with experience, but what we need is a leader with compassion, works fast, and can immediately give solutions.)

Administration standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II likened the presidential race to a parent entrusting his or her kids to a driver.

“‘Di ho ba ang pina-simple na tanong ay nagiging simple at klaro din ang sagot? Kung ihahambing tulad ng sino magmamaneho sa anak mo araw-araw, kanino natin pagkakatiwala ang kaligtasan ng ating anak? Sa isang taong may kasong pagnanakaw, sa mainitin ang ulo na pwedeng maaksidente, sa isang ngayon pa lang natututo o ipagkakaloob sa matagal na ni minsan ‘di kayo pinahamak… o ‘di pinagsamantalahan?” Roxas said.

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. –

Editors’ picks per round

Netizens’ picks per round

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Face, Person, Human


Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a former multimedia reporter for Rappler. She covered media and disinformation, the Senate, the Office of the President, and politics.