Ayan. Nagsalita na sila. The Philippine Presidential Debates

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We recently had the Presidential Debates with all five candidates present. Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Grace Poe, former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago were there to present their case. The event was held in Cagayan de Oro City and shown through GMA 7.

BeamAndGo tends to agree with the recent Rappler report saying the event was more about personality. Ganoon naman talaga dito sa Pilipinas. Mahalaga ang personalidad at kahit pa maraming marurunong daw na nagsasabing dapat plataporma ang mas mahalaga, ang mismong pagkatao pa rin ang tinututukan ng mga Pilipino. Kahit ano pa ang tulong na maaaring maibigay halimbawa ng mga tulad ng BeamAndGo, marami lang talaga ang nakasalalay sa mga ihahal natin pagdating ng Mayo.

Hindi naman yata mali ito. It’s really just a matter of being able to balance the two. Una, kung hindi mo mapagkakatiwalaan ang tao, walang mararating ang kung ano pa mang plataporma. Parang lang ‘yang magiging palamuti sa damit. Porma lang.

Kailangan talagang mapagkakatiwalaan ang isang tao kasi sa loob ng anim na taon ng panunungkulan ng isang Pangulo, maraming bagay ang maaaring mangyari. Nariyan na ang mga biglaang trahedya. Nariyan din ang mga OFW katulad ni Albert Go na pumuntang Singapore dahil sa matinding isyu ng income tax at high cost of living sa Metro Manila. Ang kaniyang blog post Lowering Taxes and preventing a balikbayan controvery ay isa lamang sa mga kwento ng milyon-milyong kababayan natin na nagkaroon ng oportunidad sa ibang bansa.

Can this or that candidate react fast enough, effectively enough without pointing fingers?

Photo taken from GMA 7 video.

Pero, hindi rin puedeng personalidad lang. Mahalaga ang plataporma. Kung wala itong kwenta, para namang mangmang ang ating Presidente at madaling itulak dito at doon ng kung sinu-sino depende sa ihip ng hangin. Sabi nga ng bansag isang comedy show noong late 80s hanggang early 90s: Ang Pambansang Panggulo.

So how now brown cow?

Dapat balanse. Since the Presidential Debate is still fresh in our minds, let us deal with the personalities first. We’ll deal with the platforms in a later post. (Kalma lang, ha? Gagawin natin iyon. Wag mag-alala.)

Wala tayong kakampihan dito. Babalikan lang natin ang mga sinabi nila mismo noong Presidential Debate sa GMA 7. Hopefully, this will give us a good glimpse on who these people are and what priorities they have so that we can see if their priorities align with ours. We also won’t make comments here whether their claims are valid or not. We will just focus on what they said. It is up to you to determine if you believe something can be done or not given the time frame the candidates themselves give.

VP Jejomar Binay

For VP Binay, the main problem facing the nation is poverty.He asserts that he was able to help make Makati the way it is now – rich and prosperous. He stresses that he is a decisive and effective leader who is not bogged down by analysis-paralysis (ibig sabihin, hindi siya napaparalisa dala ng kakaisip). He also pointed out that there was underspending in government which led to under-performance. It is because of this underspending that some people have died without having received the necessary medicine.

On the issue of political dynasties, his position is that as long as a person is qualified and is willing to serve, this should not be a hindrance to public office.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte

Mayor Duterte focused on the problems of crime and corruption. He promised to clean up the country and rid it of crime and corruption within three to six months. He explained that he will go after criminals and even put them to death as long as these actions are according to the rule of law. He said he would use the military and the police to go after these lawless elements.

He said that corruption was still the problem of the Philippines and that as long as there were incompetent or corrupt officials, things would remain the same.

Being from Mindanao, he also touched on two major issues: The national budget allotment of Mindanao and the Bangsamoro Basic Law. He complained that only 19% of the infrastructure budget was given to the area while 65% went to Metro Manila. He then asked how Mindanao was to develop with such a disparity. He is an advocate of federalism (allowing each region or state to have its own power without having to rely on the power of the central or national government) adding that he’d even offer this to Moro National Liberation Front chief Nur Misuari.

Senator Grace Poe

Senator Poe said her administration would allot 30% of the national budget for Mindanao adding that it was important for jobs to be created in the region. Her plan included the creation of a Mindanao Rail system, cementing around 2000 kms of roads, and the rehabilitation of dams to generate electricity. She expects these projects, especially the one for road creation, to provide temporary jobs but with the long-term benefit of attracting more tourists and investors to the area, which would then create a more steady job market.

Regarding the controversial BBL, she says there should be more transparent discussion of issues and should involve Maguindanaons, Tausugs, Badjao, and other groups like indigenous peoples and Christians.

She approached the issue of nation building from the point of view of being a mother. She admitted being the newbie of the bunch but insisted that she had already seen what was needed by the government. She continued by saying that one does not need a long tenure as an executive to realize that the government’s help in things like transportation was sorely lacking.

She advocates change in agriculture calling for free irrigation and the creation of agri-industrial zones where the Departments of Agriculture and Trade and Industry would work hand-in-hand to promote the products of farmers. Included here is replanting of coconut trees to maximize the yield per hectare and identifying what high-value products should be planted by our farmers so that they reap the maximum benefit for their labor.

Former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas

The former DILG Secretary opened up the whole affair with his “driver” analogy asking what kind of driver would be best for a country. Unsurprisingly, he ended the analogy saying that one with the proper experience and the confidence of his former employer would be best.

He touted the achievements of the present administration saying that the economy had improved as evidenced by the numbers of the National Economic Development Authority and that Mindanao has had twice the amount of infrastructure in the last five years as compared to the 12 years prior to that.

He also spoke on the need to help the country’s fishermen by means of granting non-debilitating loans, providing them with fish-finder technology, and setting up post-catch facilities in the areas where the fishermen operate so that fish are sold fresher and profits are bigger.

He did not deny that he, himself, has had a good life but shared that it was such a life that he also wished for all Filipinos, one that was free from hunger and fear and one that allowed a person to freely dream.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago

Senator Santiago was her fiery self though a little less than what most people were used to.

She lamented the fact that though there was so much corruption, hardly anything had been done about it. Regarding all the promises made by her opponents, she addressed this by saying it was so easy to make promises but it was much harder to talk about implementation. She focused on the poverty programs mentioned and asked where the money would come from to get any of this done.

She called for a bigger budget allocation for education, rural infrastructure, social welfare, and health care for the poor.

She also spoke on the issues of political dynasties and the problem with China. She advocated negotiations with China and other Asian countries adding that both the Americans and Chinese were merely trying to impose their will on the Philippines. She also expressed her opposition to political dynasties while admitting that a much clearer definition of what constituted such should be made.


Photo taken from GMA 7 video.

Okay na?

Elections are not one-shot deals. We need to keep a close watch on these guys who make a lot of promises but may just point fingers at other people when things fail, people are already complaining, and blame is being hurled. Sisihan na kumbaga.

Why is this important? The President of the Philippines can easily determine how good or bad the lives of your loved ones will be for the next SIX years! Just imagine what a lousy President can do to the education of your children. Di ba gusto mo ring makauwi sana at hindi na umalis sa Pilipinas? Kung magaling ang Presidente natin, baka maging totoo iyon. Kung hindi, baka matagal pa ang kalbaryo mo na malayo ka sa asawa’t anak mo.

Isipin mo na lang din: Kaya nga nandito ang BeamAndGo para makatulong sa iyo at sa iyong pamilya. Makapagpapadala ka ng pagkain, gamot, at kung anu-ano pa sa kanila. Hindi ba maganda kung sa gobyerno mismo nararamdaman mong panatag ka parati na maaalagaan mo ang mga mahal mo sa buhay?

Meron pa tayong mga panahon para magpasya. Wag sana nating isarado ang ating isipan. Itong mga debateng ganito ang isa sa mga maaari nating gamitin para kilatisin nang maayos itong mga taong gustong mamuno sa atin.

BeamAndGo friends in Hong Kong Salu-Salo event

11 thoughts on “Ayan. Nagsalita na sila. The Philippine Presidential Debates

  1. Duterte na ako I need a president who has strong personality ,he can delever his platforms with dignity he walks his talk so its proven that he can do it ,,,exhibit A davao city he only needs a power to emplement the law and discipline to filipino citizens with that god willing we can live with comfort in our homeland I love my country philippines we want change for the better! 🙂

  2. This is interesting and well written. Thank you.

    I just hope people will also check facts in order to verify if the candidates’ statements are accurate.

    An example is Duterte’s claim that 64-65% of the national budget for infrastructure projects are allocated to NCR.

    A fact check by GMA News showed that the Mayor was wrong. Only 6% of the infra budget was allocated to Metro Manila. That’s P19.7 Billion.

    Compare that to Region 11’s P18.96 Billion budget. So this means, Mindanao is already being given big importance by the current administration.


    By the way, do we really need a federal form of government? It does sound appealing to some people. But it is not as easy and as beneficial as how Duterte is telling people. It is an expensive and inefficient organizational structure, it is prone to secessation of states, and hard to manage on a strategic, national level.

    It would be more pactical and more effective to keep the current form of government and just make relevant improvements to how the regional governments are managed.


  3. If you dont have strong personality – you are nothing! Most of us now is lack of discipline, walang disiplina sa batas why? because of the leaders… mga leaders din ang mga wlang disiplina mga corrupt! If Duterte will win enshalla! dyan natin makikita ang displina. Exhibit A – OFW bakit may mga disiplina sa ibang bansa? Dahil alam nila ang striktong pamamaraan at disiplina ng BANSA! Not like Pilipinas kong mahal mga Leader pa nangunguna Corrupt dito corrupt doon! pato Bilibi puno ng Corruption at Drugs!!! WTH!

  4. I will try for Du30 …baka sakali magbago takbo ng Pilipinas sa ikabubuti…kakasawa na ung dating rehimen…dati sa manila lang may holdupper at mandurukot..ngayon pati sa mga probinsya talamak na rin krimen ..dami ng salot sa lipunan…ligtas ka pa bang maglakad sa daan ngayon?

  5. Exactly!if Duterte could be the last hope of all filipinos,then we will cast our vote on him.habang walang peace and order sa pinas no one would invest to improve our economy!disiplina lang tlga ang kailangan ng mga pilipino hindi democrasya!totoong pagbabago ang dapat mangyari hindi ang puro pautot ng tuwid na daan!nililinlang lng aman nila tayo and we are deceived by their promises from the very start dahil logically wala naman talagang TUWID NA DAAN e puro crossroads ang mga nadadaanan ng mga mamamayan!

  6. Hello, Yassy. While we respect everyone’s views, please note that we cannot allow such language. We would love to allow your comment but do revise to exclude the overly strong words. Thanks.

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