The Inquirer presidential debates

The debate is beginning. The candidates are now being introduced — Noynoy comes in all in black, JC de los Reyes in a white barong and black pants, Gordon the same, except that he is wearing a long-sleeved barong and JC a short-sleeved one. Jamby is wearing black but has a green blazer on top; Gibo is wearing a polo shirt, Nick Perlas is wearing yellow! and Villar, white short-sleeved barong (?) and gray pants.

Former UP College of Law dean Raul Pangalangan asks Noynoy about his statement on not acknowledging an SC justice appointed by GMA. Noynoy says he only wanted to make sure that everyone obeys the Constitution.

Teodoro is asked about waffling on the RH bill.
For any policy especially one as controversial or as close to heart, have to work with consensus. Cannot implement law ab initio. Must move ahead and forward, get consensus, respect moral choice and whatever moral choice a person has made.

JC: what direct policy or legislation would you advocate as pres to achieve constitution prohibition vs political dynasty
Policies hindi nanggagling lang sa batas ngunit kung ano ang salita, asta. Kung iyon ang mensahe, we have to respect constitution…communicate to whole bureaucracy and solicit help of people so finally we have implementing rules to give life to constitution.

Villar is asked how to prevent another Ampatuan massacre.
Disarm lahat ng grupo…kailangan palakasin ang AFP dun para igalang at hindi na kailangan gumawa at magwield ng ganitong army. Galing din sa atin yan, we have to stop this, disarm them, palakasin ang AFP, itaas ang human devt index sa lugar na iyon. Walang trabaho kaya pumapasok na bodyguard…entrepreneurial skills…ng moslems…papuntahin ang kredito, focus on edukasyon, kalusugan, pamimigay ng trabaho…kailangan sabayan ang approach…

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Dana. Do you think the presidential debates have been able to serve their purpose? Noticed that there are more presidentiables now who would rather spend their time on the field rather than participate in debates.

    • Hi Janet. Sorry, haven’t posted anything here for a long, long time. I think it depends on one’s purpose: definitely one would get some media mileage which one would have to pay for otherwise. It doesn’t allow for in-depth discussions and debates, but at least one would have an idea of where the candidates stand on some issues. I’ve heard a candidate say it’s a waste of time, because they don’t really discuss issues (well, they don’t. they spew out one claim after another). But really, when you think of it: when they go to their own rallies, do they discuss issues? how much time do they spend talking about their platform? And nobody gets a chance to contradict them, or ask them any question at all.
      The logic supposedly is that in the field, more people get to see them up close. Yep, they go to the markets and kiss babies, and no one asks them how and why their positions have changed on some issues. Instead everyone they see wants a piece of them — a kiss, a handshake, a smile. Ask the people later on what they think (I did this long ago when I covered an Imelda rally; I followed her and asked those who shook hands with her what they think of her, why they wanted to get close to her) and what you’d get are impressions: mabango ang kamay, mukhang mabait, hindi pa rin nagbabago. Does that have anything to do with a candidate’s platform? Is that how they want to get supporters, based on impressions instead of discussions (which are, admittedly, shallow)?
      Once (this year, I won’t say where and when) I covered a rally and asked the people there who they were voting for. There were some giggly students and I asked if they were supporting THAT candidate and they said, yes. Why? Mabait po siya. Why? Nag-donate sila ng school dito. (They were from that school, wearing uniforms of that school). I suspected it was a public school, but asked just the same: Donate? Pera nila? Sila nagbigay? Opo. Later I asked an adult from the same place and I was right, it was a public school that just happened to be named after someone who was related to the candidate the students were favoring.
      It was a rally held in the middle of the day, and people waited under the heat of the noonday sun to see these candidates of this party. I asked one woman, waiting with her child, why she was there, if she was supporting that candidate. Yes, she said, she will vote for him/her. (hometown vote). Kasama mo pa anak mo. He wanted to come, she said; he wanted to see one of the showbiz supporters of the candidate. (unfortunately, the showbiz person wasn’t there).
      BUT…and this is a big BUT…if I were a candidate, I’d forget the debates and attend my own rallies instead. Really, who wouldn’t want to feel like a rock star, surrounded by an adoring public, instead of being questioned by cynical reporters and what-have-you, all of whom are not going to vote anyway come Election Day, and who can’t even make their own househelp vote for the candidate they want?
      SO. Do I think the presidential debates have served their purpose? What purpose is that? To educate the public? To get some media mileage? To see which one sweats first under those hot klieg lights? To prove to others how witty you are? The answer varies, depending on who you are and what you want. And your answer is as good as mine, as good as everyone else’s. 🙂

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