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sAngelica Periabras INSOCIO
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After 24 years, a second presidential debate was aired on TV5 on March 20, last Sunday. The event took place at the University of the Philippines in Cebu. The host was a Filipino broadcast journalist who is also the head of the news and public affairs department of TV5, Ms. Luchi Cruz Valdez. The debate was only attended by four presidential aspirants namely Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Senator Grace Poe, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. I was disappointed when it was announced that Senator Miriam Defensor – Santiago was going to be absent on the day of the debate because of the clinical trial that she was going to undergo for a chance to completely get rid of her cancer. The event would’ve been more interesting and intense if she was there.
While waiting for the debate to start, I was excited knowing that we would be able to know the candidates’ positive and negative attributes and be given the chance to know them more by watching the debate. However, the wait lasted for about an hour and a half before it even started which was supposed to begin at five p.m. thus making me impatient and feel irritated. Then I saw a tweet on twitter saying that the reason why the whole event was delayed was because a candidate was late. After I read that, all I can think of was “Natakbo for presidency, nalalate?” I was so frustrated at the candidate because of his tardiness. And what made me more annoyed was that the candidate wasn’t only late but also brought notes that were against the rules.
My five (5) criteria in selecting a presidential candidate would be: 1. Being able to communicate effectively and peek the audience’s interest with confidence. * Communication is essential because it is a way of expressing what we think and what we want the people to know. Being able to clearly and concisely describe what s/he wants done is extremely important. If a leader can’t relate his/her vision to his/her team then that’ll cause complications that may lead to the country’s fall. Confidence is very important thus making it one of the key to be able to communicate effectively. Also, when things aren’t going the right way, a leader must radiate himself/herself with confidence. If s/he does this s/he would be able to make his people to feel the same. 2. Gives importance to the voice of the people. * A great leader is a person who does not only do things base on his own judgment but lets the people know that their opinions matter as well. S/He should let the voice of the people be heard because the reason that s/he is even in that position is because the public believes in him/her to value what they have to say and make it happen. Knowing what the people really needs lets the person with power to know exactly what s/her needs to change in society. Thus, making him/her deal with the matter instantly. 3. Honesty and truthfulness (values) * Honesty is actually one of the most important traits that a true leader should possess. Knowing that the next president possesses this kind of value will let the people believe him/her even in times of troubles. The public wants the kind of leader who would not lie to them, who wouldn’t deceive them and who would only speak the truth. A leader with moral values is also something that the people want their next president to have because if a person is to lead, s/he should be guided by his/her own principles in life. 4. Ability to articulate thoughts * Being able to turn his/her own thoughts into an even greater action is something that the next president should also have. Having a great idea isn’t enough – just like what was discussed a while ago in number one (1) – communication is key. Actions are what matters. That’s what the people want – someone who is a man of action. 5. Knowledgeable about the current issues in our country. * This trait must be the very first thing that a president should have. If a leader has this characteristic then it proves that s/he is concern with the ongoing issues that the society is currently facing. When a leader does not display a sufficient degree of productive intelligence, s/he is bound to have a number of unsatisfied followers under his/her leadership. However, having knowledge isn’t enough. A leader should also be willing to take action to be able to change what is wrong in the country.
For me, the candidate that stood out was Senator Grace Poe. She was well composed till the end of the event unlike the other candidates. She knows when to stop talking when it is not her time to speak. She said every information with poise and confidence. Also most of the time, she was the only one answering the questions directly. It was also obvious that she came prepared and knows what she’s talking about. Plus, she’s the one who fits on the five (5) criteria that I have.
The one who failed in the debate, for me, would be Vice-president Binay. He’s the one who failed because of his lack of confidence and consistency in answering the questions asked of him. Plus, he brought notes and even though the host was already asking him to remove it, he even said that those weren’t notes but documents.

“Critic all candidates”
While watching the debate I also critic all of the candidates in their performance in terms of communication, confidence, etc. The first one is Vice-President Jejomar Binay. In terms of communication, his answers and arguments were mostly pointless because of stating them repeatedly. Even though his notes were taken away from him which were his only guide, he wasn’t really good at defending himself. If I were to rate him in terms of his confidence – one (1) being the lowest and five (5) being the highest – I’d give him a three (3). I gave him that because even though he knew that he wasn’t really making sense with the statements that he said in defense with what his other opponents threw at him, he still kept on pushing it. I gave him a three also because he doesn’t really speak up unless he’s called by the host whether or not he has some opinion or comment on what the other person just stated.
The second one is Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. In terms of his confidence, I got to give him a four (4). He was truly honest and stood his ground regarding his promise of killing bad people just to make the country a better place. He even went far by kinda threatening Mar Roxas in one of their “initan” when Mar Roxas asked, “Sino bang malalaking taong ang pinatay mo?” and Duterte answered, “ikaw”. He was also one of the reasons why the whole debate was entertaining as well. He’s the kind of person that could be funny and playful when he wants to but when it’s about crimes and issues they’re talking about, he becomes serious. Because of this, he became the epitome of change for many Filipinos who have been crying a flood of tears because of the effects of corruption, poor justice, street crimes, poverty and many more. In terms of communication, I give him a three (3) because at other times, I can’t really understand what he’s saying and maybe that’s because of his Cebuano accent. Like Binay, he also tends to not speak up when his opinion is not requested by the host and most of the time, jokes are what comes out of his mouth.
The third candidate is Grace Poe. She was actually, for me, the strongest candidate in the debate because of her confidence and straight forward answers. She was also really organized and showed professionalism in the event by being mature and knowing when to stop talking when it’s not her turn to speak. She was also good at defending her side and being consistent and specific in answering her questions.
The last candidate is Secretary Mar Roxas. I’ll be honest; he’s not really one of the people that I really like to be president. He’s position in my voting list would be the same level as Binay which is super low. Why? Because during the debate he really gets irritated easily which is not a characteristic a president should have. He’s emotions, especially his anger, is usually triggered when another candidate contradicts what he is saying or when someone talks while he is speaking. In terms of his confidence, I would give him a three (3) because I think he was okay and he felt comfortable in saying whatever he thinks is right. He was very unprofessional in a way because he cannot handle feedbacks and arguments from his fellow candidates. Through the debate, I also realized that Mar calues his time but not the time of others. He keeps on defending the government even if he keeps on being bullied.

Summary and Conclusion:
I was really hoping that the second PiliPinasDebate2016 will really live up to its name and not be a Q&A portion of a pageant just like the first one but in the end, it was mostly about personality politics, candidates shading on their opponents and name calling them. I was disappointed at the same time entertained because I’m not really sure if I did learned anything new about the candidates but it did revealed a lot about their character under pressure and there were times that was just really funny because the candidates would make up jokes about the other person. All in all, the event was super unorganized and unprofessional – why? Because first, the candidates were given a different set of rules two weeks before the debate took place which made one of them think that it was allowed to use notes or documents during the debate and then fifteen (15) minutes before it started, the rule changed into no notes would be used while the debate is taking place. Therefore making the candidate, who prepared everything with the aid of notes, to be confused and unable to defend his side more effectively. Second, the questions were mostly never answered properly and the answers were mostly far from what the question was really asking for. Third, the candidates were talking even though it wasn’t really their time to talk yet making the audience not understand everything that they’ve just said. Lastly, some of the rules of the debate weren’t really followed like the 30 seconds rule wherein the candidate would only be given such time to comment on the other candidate’s answer. Also, I suggest that if they’re going to have a yes or no answer to very important social issues like divorce and death penalty, they have to let the candidates have the chance to explain and defend their choice to make it clear to the people on why that certain person is pro or con to the subject matter. Lastly, I suggest that the microphone should be turned off when the time to comment on another candidate’s statement is done. Therefore, the house rules would be followed.
I admire Ms. Luchi Valdez for being patient, mature and professional. Even though the candidates were so hard to handle, she made the effort in trying to discipline them. Also, she trying to restrain the candidates into changing the rules is actually a characteristic that a host should obtain – standing her ground and making sure that the rules are followed. And while I’m hands down to Ms. Valdez, I also respect the event’s sign language interpreter. While watching the debate, I could see him at the lower right side corner of the televison doing so many sign language that I cannot imagine the stress he is undergoing while the candidates keep on talking over each other’s statements. He was so fast into interpreting every single thing that the candidates had just said that he was replaced by another interpreter after the first commercial of the event.
It’s really good that the COMELEC brought back this presidential debate to let the Filipino voters further know the candidates like knowing their personality traits, how they perform under stressful situations, whether or not the candidate is really up to date with the current happenings and issue the country is facing and whether or not the candidate has a plan to improve the country.

Ad Campaign
I chose to advertise Miriam Defensor Santiago because she wasn’t able to attend the second presidential debate. Thus, not letting the people know her side of every issue that was discussed during the event. Another is because I really like her to be the next president of the country. Why? Because, for me, she is the only candidate fit to be a leader because of her broad knowledge regarding the current issues of the Philippines; because she can make her great thoughts become an even greater action; because she is fair to everyone and everything and she can represent our country internationally without fail because of her strong character.…...

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