1st Presidential Debate: Complete transcript

/ 01:53 PM February 25, 2016

The first presidential debate for the upcoming May elections held in Cagayan de Oro City last Sunday gave the electorate an overview of the candidates’ stand on pressing national issues, as well as those hounding their own candidacies for the highest position in the land.


The debate, the first of three organized by the Commission on Elections, was the first of its kind to be held since 1992 and outside imperial Manila. It was attended by all presidential aspirants, namely Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Sen. Grace Poe, and former Interior secretary Mar Roxas.

In their opening statements, the candidates made their pitch for the presidency, vowing to resolve the perennial problem of poverty, among others. Notably, only administration bet Roxas took a swipe at his rivals in his opening salvo, implying that voters could not entrust the country to someone who is facing allegations of stealing, a hot-headed person, and somebody who is just learning how to drive.

READ: 1st Presidential Debate transcript: Opening Statements

For the first round, the presidential candidates answered questions on their vulnerabilities—Binay was asked about his land properties; Duterte on his image as womanizer and human rights violator; Santiago on health issues; Poe on her supposed lack of experience; and Roxas on his performance as Interior secretary.

READ: 1st Presidential Debate Transcript: Round One

In the second round, the candidates answered questions on how they would address poverty and uplift the lives of millions of Filipinos.

READ: 1st Presidential Debate transcript: Round Two

The third and final round saw the candidates answer questions on issues in Mindanao, including peace and order and the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

READ: 1st Presidential Debate transcript: Round Three


In their closing statements, the candidates made a final appeal on why they should be the next president of the country, succeeding President Benigno Aquino III.

READ: 1st Presidential Debate transcript: Closing Statements

The debate, which followed the dual-moderator format, was co-presented by the Philippine Daily Inquirer and GMA-7. It was moderated by broadcasters Jessica Soho and Mike Enriquez, and editor in chief John Nery.

For the full transcript of each round, click the links above. YG/IDL

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TAGS: CDO debate, Comelec, Elections 2016, Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay, Jessica Soho, John Nery, Mar Roxas, Mike Enriquez, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Politics, presidential debates, Rodrigo Duterte, transcript
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