We are thankful that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) thought of this idea and brought us the Pilipinas Debate 2016, especially at this crucial time when we are to choose from 5 presidential candidates and decide who can best steer this country towards progress, peace and stability.
The question, however, is that knowing the mentality of the Filipino voters, based on past elections, will these series of debates really redound to an intelligent choice among the electorate, or will it be considered purely as an entertainment, since Filipinos are known for casting their votes for those who amuses, charms or gratifies them best – and to hell with the real issues that matter most?
We can confirm this once again come election time in May, but suffice to say that the first Pilipinas Debate 2016 already showed tell tale signs of the candidates health, honesty, judgment and competence.
I think everyone agrees that Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago is far from being the presidential candidate we saw running against Fidel Ramos in 1992. She is no longer the fierce, excitable, quick-witted and fast talking Miriam that we all knew her to be. How I wish she was still in good health for this could have been her time!
Alas, not only is her illness slowing her down, but the thought that she will only be ushering in her running mate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos to the presidential palace very much sooner is simply unacceptable.
Vice President Jejomar Binay was in his most pathetic self when asked about his wealth. How could he had inherited assets from his parents when all these times he has been making people believe that he comes from a poor family?
Wasn’t it Binay himself who has been peddling the pitiful story that at age 9 he saw his mother’s health deteriorate and died later because they could not afford to buy medicines?
Also that Binay is a lawyer married to a wife who is a doctor, thus his wealth! So what kind of a lawyer was he and what kind of a doctor was she that both were able to amass fantastic amount of wealth?
Binay’s explanation does not really add up.
Somehow, Roxas was right when he questioned Sen. Grace Poe’s experience in governance. It’s one thing talking the talk, but it’s another thing walking the walk. How sure can she be that her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, wins with her so he can help her run government?
Or isn’t Poe running just so she could avenge her adoptive father’s loss when the latter run against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during the 2004 presidential election?
How about Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his promise to eradicate corruption and solve the country’s drug problem in 3 to 6 months? He may have been successful in Davao City, but how practical would it be for the whole country?
I am not saying that Duterte could not do it because he has shown that he can do it, though on a smaller scale, and he has the guts and the political will to do it. But, setting a deadline to be met maybe counter-productive, which may just earn the consternation of the civilized and industrialized nations in the world who may just shun away from helping us develop further.
What about former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas?
Well, it was only Roxas who looked confident and presidential during the debate.
He has the education, experience and the competence, but whether or not all these necessary traits for a president will translate to having, likewise, guts and political will remains to be seen. He should show more toughness rather than being seen as a pushover. This is how he should sell himself.