Performance of Philippine presidential candidates in debate held in Mindanao


Today I watched on YouTube the debate of five Philippine presidential candidates to personally assess their performance. “Personally” means not relying on people’s comments, media reports and the like.

So here are the debate grades of the candidates:

Rodrigo Duterte 90%
Jejomar Binay, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Grace Poe 85%
Mar Roxas 75%

I would like to thank the Commission on Elections, GMA 7 and the Inquirer for conducting this debate. It did help me know the candidates better.

I took down notes as I watched the video

I then grouped the pros and cons for each candidate

All candidates start at 75%

It’s a tabula rasa. I didn’t take into account matters such as the corruption allegations against Binay, or the “I lied” statement of Defensor-Santiago in connection with the removal of Joseph Estrada from Malacanang, or Duterte’s alleged human rights violations, or the citizenship issue hounding Poe, or Roxas’ handling of Yolanda. Of course those are important, but their grades are based solely on their performance in the debate.

For each pro, a candidate gets an additional 5%. A con will lead to a 5% decrease in their grade.

I didn’t fact check the candidates’ statements.

My personal biases. I like straight talking people, for example.

Binay Looks like he knows his agriculture.
– Attract capital for infrastructure
– He said that post harvest losses are bigger than actual incomes. I didn’t know that

He doesn’t believe in the death penalty. I do, but I like it when someone has a clear stand on controversial issues.

When asked about political dynasties, he said those qualified and eventually elected in a clean and honest election should not be prevented from serving the public. I agree with him.

I can’t reconcile his supposedly humble beginnings with his statement that he had inherited properties from his mother.
Defensor-Santiago Said that everyone has plans, but she also asked where the money would come from. I ask the same question all the time. She mentioned something about raising certain taxes, such as estate tax.

On political dynasties, she said that lawmakers don’t act on those because of their own interests.

She’s against EDCA. She said both China and the US want control of the West Philippine Sea.

Was given a chance to talk about the country’s sea dispute with China, but didn’t, for example, mention arbitration in international agencies.
Duterte I didn’t know that he was separated from his wife. Wasn’t afraid to talk about it.

When asked about how he would deal with rice cartels, he said that he was willing to stake his honor, position and life. He vowed to clean the country in 3-6 months.

He said central powers should be dissipated. He pushed for federalism.

Poe She said that before, at least the Philippines got paid for the US military bases. With EDCA, it’s now free. She recognized that the Philippines is small, but added that Singapore is also a small country, yet it’s not ‘’inuuto’’ by other countries. (I’m not sure if the word in quotation marks can be translated in English without losing its meaning as mentioned by Poe.) She said the Philippines can also be like Singapore; and that the Philippines can take on a leadership role in the ASEAN.

She mentioned something about having a Mindanao rail. I like this idea because all rich countries I’ve been to have efficient railway systems.

Answer to Duterte’s federalism: devolution of powers

Just like Defensor-Santiago, was given a chance to talk about the country’s sea dispute with China, but didn’t, for example, mention arbitration in international agencies.
Roxas He said there are 2 Makatis: the Makati of the Ayalas and the Makati of the Binays. As someone who works in Makati, I think this is true. I feel safe whenever I’m in the Central Business District. Outside of it I can’t say the same thing. Intro about himself was actually an attack on the other candidates. What I didn’t like was that he didn’t name names.

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