Duterte and Poe clear winners in Round 2 of #PilipinasDebates2016 held at UP Cebu


There are only three key takeaways coming out of the second round of the 2016 presidential debates or #PilipinasDebates2016 held in the Cebu campus of the University of the Philippines (UP Cebu): (1) Mar Roxas was the butt of jokes, swipes, and even a seeming collusion between his three opponents, (2) Vice President Jejomar Binay was not in his element keeping up and jumping into the fast-pace of the debate format used in this session; and, (3) Rodrigo Duterte and Grace Poe emerged as the most eloquent and witty of the lot.

Roxas, having been chief of two departments critical to securing Filipinos’ safety and security — the Departments of Transportation and Communication and of the Interior and Local Government — was bogged down by inquiries into his poor performance leading those departments. He was an easy target to potshots and the witty pasarings of the other three candidates having overseen botched management of natural disasters and police commando operations, and an abject degeneration of key infrastructure works that impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Filipinos.

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Indeed, the debate overall remained constantly in danger of sliding into degenerate mud-slinging between the candidates. However it was quite notable that the worst mudslinging was always between Roxas and all the rest. Remarkably, there was very little evidence of open animosity between Poe, Binay, and Duterte. The most bitter clashes were reserved for ones that had Roxas as the primary target of the fielded arguments.

When you performed badly, suffice to say, you are sentenced to spend the rest of your life explaining yourself. Ironic indeed, as there were many instances that some of Roxas’s responses to the pointed questions directed at him were borderline revisionist. For example, Roxas’s account of his involvement in the events that led to the massacre of the 44 Special Action Force officers in Mamasapano seemed to gloss over details that pointed to his being outside of President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III’s tight circle of trust. Instead, Roxas asserted that Aquino assumed that he was on top of the situation and routinely kept informed by General Alan Purisima about the operation. Whatever the case, the fact that Pursima, who, at the time, was suspended from his role as Philippine Police director, was Roxas’s supposed only link to the operation still makes Roxas look like a chump nonetheless.

That said, exchanges between Roxas and Binay, who were pretty much seriously at each other’s throats over most of the debate period, were not the highlight of the show. It was the composed and consistent eloquence of Senator Poe, and the sharp wittiness of Duterte that stole the show. Ultimately, this being a media event and the elections, as a whole, being a popularity contest, the trophies go to the most engaging stars of the show.

Duterte, for one, shone during the exchange surrounding the issue of the Philippines’ clean energy sourcing strategy. While Poe and Roxas liberally issued promises to do this and that and build this and that, Duterte kept to a simple and sensible position — the Philippines, a developing country, simply cannot afford “clean” energy. Duterte also pointed out what many commentators have long observed — that developed and wealthy nations that account for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions have so far failed to commit in a manner proportionate to what less-developed nations will have been expected to invest in the effort. In that regard, there really is no point, at this point, for the Philippines to be even putting a problem this big as a priority given the abundance of low-hanging fruit that leaders have yet to pick.

The show was capped by a replay of what transpired and was captured by the cameras over what comprised the more than one-hour delay on the start of the debate. Apparently it was Binay who was the cause of the delay thanks, supposedly, to a “miscommunication” over the rules on the use of notes during the debate. Nonetheless, the banter caught on camera between Poe, Duterte, and Roxas while they stood awkwardly on stage behind their respective podiums was priceless. Unfortunately for Roxas, his lack of charm and charisma was all the more evident in that period of awkwardness, the chemistry between Poe and Duterte clearly outshining his evidently dull personality. Both Poe and Duterte exhibited a natural talent for engaging people, skilfully working the audience while everyone waited for the Binay issue to be resolved.

Good show overall. The issues were adequately spoken to through both the eloquence of the candidates and the insights that emerged as a result of the exchange in arguments — which is the whole point of a presidential debate, an occasion out of which Filipino voters could get to know their candidates better all-around.

15 Replies to “Duterte and Poe clear winners in Round 2 of #PilipinasDebates2016 held at UP Cebu”

  1. Mar Roxas is the “Poster Boy”, of Incompetence in the Public service. He is the worse Manager, that I have ever seen.

    My question is: Will Benigno Aquino III, be accountable on the thievery of the : DAF, PDAF, Pork Barrel Bribery, etc…? Will Benigno Aquino III, be accountable on the Mamapasano massacre? How about his sidekick thief, Abad? How about that suspended Police, Purisima? He should be Court Matialled…

    Mar Roxas should be accountable also on the Mamapasono massacre…

    We want more of these debates…even, the Vice Presidential candidates. We want them to debate.

  2. In this debate, Poe showed her true colors, using her rivals to put away Roxas. We saw her true colors, that she will side with evil if needed just to get what she wants.

    Her arguments are weak and full of fallacies, muddling them with beautiful words to deceive shallow-minded people. I can see a TRAPO how may be new she claims to be. A Cojuangco puppet, who goes to war with China after getting up in the morning.

    Clearly Mar was better prepared this time and had answers. Duterte, though not the one to expound his thoughts, brought great Leadership on the table and that is what we need as a president.

  3. In that regard, there really is no point, at this point, for the Philippines to be even putting a problem this big as a priority given the abundance of low-hanging fruit that leaders have yet to pick.

    It seems Duterte know his priorities.“The Principle of Priority states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.” – Steven Pressfield

  4. Poe: appears to be the most eloquent, fast and clear headed, pulling out numbers/data on the fly – likely runs in a family of actors (good at memorizing scripts; even recalls names of distinguished guests in the audience – expert sipsip trapo). keeps dishing out “i will” promises. a politician who can give exactly what the people’s itching ears want to hear, with a big risk of being a complete dud like inexperienced Cory.

    Duterte: turned the entire debating arena into one entertaining show (told you this guy will make PH more fun this next 6 years). showed the most common sense with brevity in expressing them. he stood almost bullet-proof (galing sumapalpal at mang-asar, always getting the last laugh). commanded the most respect and authority among the 4. this guy won the masses’ hearts with his transparency and straight tough talk. the Pinoy counterpart of bold rampaging Trump.

    Binay: annoyingly hard-headed who wouldn’t give up to his “right” to bring notes. a reflection of the type of irrational chaotic self-centered leadership he has to offer to the nation, stepping on rules to his advantage. keeps defending his innocence till proven guilty and wouldn’t explain in detail why so many purchases in Makati were made at skyrocketing prices (as usual, the smell of rotting fish a mile off)

    Roxas: in total defense mode. hints on the reactive type of presidency he has to offer. keeps bragging he was there in times of crisis; although the general populace cannot feel the results. like in Binay, a similar rotting fish smell from this guy – only it’s in the area of competence. appears like a bullied boy who wants to keep playing with the real tough guys. at least, it shows he’s really trying hard.

    Santiago: by her absence for health reasons, she has effectively booted herself out of this race with a clear message: don’t wast your vote on me.

  5. Duterte stood solid as a rock and was the only one who did not fall apart, stumble or lose his cool. He did not display bakla or bitchy behavior. He’s cooler than my moms freezer. Duterte said little, but what he said made sense and resonates. Actions speak louder than words anyway. In my opinion he is a no-nonsense guy who will get things done. Also what he expressed was not rehearsed and he is not afraid to admit when he makes a mistake. I also like that he did not said I promise, but instead chose the word “try”. He again came across as very natural and relaxed. The others were nervous and fidgety.

    Poe is a talker not a doer. That became crystal clear when being asked about the Coconut funds. We have to do this and that, evaluate, investigate, consider, bla bla bla. This is one of the biggest problems of the current administration, NO ACTION on anything. She’ll be just the same, aside from the fact that she is a puppet who was only allowed to run so this piss yellow corrupt bunch won’t have to go to jail. She also always strikes me as a nerdy little do-gooder and over achiever and no one likes those.

    Binay that weasel, finally showed his true colors and therefor might have made the biggest mistake since running for office.
    I hope this idiotic blunder will break his rotten neck. He is a disgusting slime-ball, to say the very least.

    Roxas….fuck him!

  6. My husband and I noticed that Duterte is very good with conflict resolution – always on point (we all need this kind of characteristic in a leader). The debate last night was entertaining especially during the dull minutes/hours where Duterte and Poe was the one doing all the entertaining while people are waiting for Binay to get back. Roxas was an idiot to say the least and I can just imagine what will happen to our poor country (THE PHILIPPINES) if he gets elected or the results of the voting manipulated (which is not far-fetch from reality given the situation we have here in the Phils).
    Change is good in a lot of ways and I think Duterter is a good choice at this point given the circumstance and reality we are currently facing in this country.
    I hope people will think deeply into who they will vote for in the coming elections this May.

  7. I can justify Poe winning. But dutere? Come on, he crashed and burned the crime question.

    Am I suppose to believe or any undecided voter believe that he will eradicate crime because of hearsay(asking people from Davao) or editing crime data(removing non heinous crimes from the data like cigrette smokers). Or believe because Duterte said “I will do it”?

    Believing in Duterte is like the issue with PNoy in 2010 elections, he either needs to explain or expound the programs or it will just be another Hail Mary.

    What Duterte showed in debate that he is closer to Vic Sotto or Kevin hart than Donald trump. Or your typical beer drinking friend at the “kanto” who doesn’t make sense.

    1. And I suppose the rest had more concise platforms that were “solid”? If anything, they were all bullshitters. But at least Duterte was the best and sensible bullshitter of the bunch. All the rest, especially Roxas, are doing the same old campaign routine based on empty promises, grand ambitions and zero capability to push through. Not to mention buckling under pressure and succumbing to the pettiest of trash talks. 😉

  8. I wonder what the PNP and AFP think of Duterte. How PNoy government treat the case of 44 PNP-SAF in Mamasapano Massacre lowered our military and policemen’s morale. Then some of our police are involved in crime or syndicate.

    Duterte consistently vow to fight criminality and corruption in the country. So that means the AFP and PNP will have to regain their dignity and morale. But Duterte has ties with NPA and vigilantes. He said so himself, probably just out of necessity.

  9. Well, it does feel though that that puppet Mar despite all the shit that came out of his mouth would appear to be a winner on the eyes of the fools who would vote for him and we dont want any more of the population to be convinced to defend this dumbass administration. Very unsettling, even getting within 5-10% away from top spot in surveys is so unsettling and a “good” debate might just solidify that. No matter how many of us see through his obviously scripted lies, there will be idiots who would continue to believe in him. The administration could easily cheat this pussy into office unless this guy is really far from the top of the survey, I fear him being number 2 or 3 is within “justifiable/defendable cheating range”. And I just dont want that, we cannot have another 6 years of a leader who self praises himself and promotes disunity among the people.

    On the other hand, Poe was eloquent and composed but she promises too much. Promises are getting boring and how many of them even got fulfilled in politics based on our history anyways?

    Dutertes answers were winning except for how he defended the crime in Davao City, though found it weird and annoying that everytime my family goes or my friends go to Davao City we could all agree that it is a clean and peaceful? I feel Duterte could have gone and said more to defend it and the debate overall.

    Binay – doomed. Stutters a lot? Idk. I would still pick this guy over Mar(the grinning idiot who acts right and others are wrong).

  10. I strongly agree to this.

    The administration could easily cheat this pussy into office unless this guy is really far from the top of the survey, I fear him being number 2 or 3 is within “justifiable/defendable cheating range”.

    We’ve seen this before, and with good candidates present, sobrang sayang kung madadaya pa.

    Santiago: by her absence for health reasons, she has effectively booted herself out of this race with a clear message: don’t waste your vote on me.

    Maybe, Sen.Miriam already sees that there’s a good candidate worthy of the post.

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