Candidates give feisty answers on arguments against them
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The country’s five presidential candidates were ready to fire shots when asked about the main criticisms hurled against them and their campaign.
Vice President Jejomar Binay answered questions on how he was able to amass wealth and land while in public office, saying some of them were passed on by his parents. He also said that despite being a public servant he can still afford to buy land.
Senator Miriam Santiago, in her rebuttal, called Binay “mayor,” challenging him to enumerate his reasons.
Santiago, on the other hand, snapped back at debate host Jessica Soho who asked her about her health.
“Karapatan ko yan!” she said, explaining that illnesses fluctuate and that it is her right to choose to run for president.
Asked about her absences in Senate, she shot back that she was suffering from stage 4 cancer.
“Nag-antay akong mamatay eh hindi ako pinatay ng guardian angel ko,” she said to the amusement of the audience.
Instead of debating her, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte backed up Santiago’s answer.
“I will not go into a debate with Ma’am Miriam. I do not see Senator Santiago passing away in the next 20 years so there is no problem,” he said.
An amused Santiago replied, “I do not want to spend the next 6 years lying in bed feeling sorry for myself…I felt sorry for my country! Because graft and corruption is endemic…nobody did much except Mayor Rudy Duterte.”
Duterte beamed at her answer and raised his right hand as the crowd clapped their hands.
The controversial mayor, who has been accused of extrajudicial killings, said he will continue to kill criminals.
While he denied claims that he engaged in extrajudicial killings, he said that if elected president he will use law enforcement to go after drugs and criminality.
“We will order the killing of all criminals,” he said.
Poe, on the other hand, argued why she deserves to be president despite her relatively short career in public service.
“Walang proof na kung mas matagal ka sa puwesto magaling ka,” she said.
Former interior secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, however, told her that the presidency is not “OJT” or on-the-job-training.
Roxas, who earlier asked Poe to become his running mate, said there is a “right time (tamang panahon” for everything, especially since a president is responsible for the lives of 100 million Filipinos.
Roxas, who vowed to continue President Benigno Aquino III’s “Daang Matuwid (Straight Path),” enumerated the changes he has done for transportation.
He also defended himself against those criticizing him about how he dealt with the aftermath of super typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan).
Poe, however, said that while Roxas has experience with three administrations, she herself has investigated numerous anomalies involving his former agencies.
“Hindi mo kailangan ng karanasan para malaman na kulang sa
transportasyon,” she said.
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