Tame third debate

SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda - The Philippine Star

There was no trash talk in the third and final presidential debate in Dagupan, Pangasinan. Only Mar Roxas raised the issue of corruption against Vice President Jejomar Binay, but he successfully parried the question.

Even Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago did not criticize Rodrigo Duterte on his rape joke. Only Grace Poe raised the issue of a platform for women. Duterte answered by narrating what he has done for women in Davao.

Duterte again reiterated his readiness to kill. He said, “If you are afraid to die, if you are afraid to kill, don’t aspire to become president.”

The four candidates, Binay, Santiago, Poe and Roxas, gave no new solution to the Metro Manila traffic problem. Duterte admitted there’s “no silver bullet to solve the traffic problem.” He said it will take one to two years to solve the problem.

Questioned on the China South Sea problem, Duterte declared he would ask the Philippine Navy to bring him to the boundary of the Spratlys where he will plant the Philippine flag and be ready to be shot dead. Senator Santiago said she will call the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to bomb the Chinese ships. Poe said she would assert the Philippines’ right to the resources within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and vowed to provide fishermen adequate equipment to protect their interest. She didn’t specify what equipment she would provide. Binay and Roxas called for sobriety in approaching the territorial dispute with China. Binay said he would talk to the Chinese to allow the fishermen to continue fishing while negotiations on the maritime dispute continue. He also vowed to provide livelihood to the fishermen, health and education assistance to families of displaced fishermen.

All five presidential candidates promised to put an end to labor contractualization or endo (end of contract) by assuring Filipinos that the bill seeking to strengthen the prohibition against it would be passed into law, ensuring the security of tenure of employees. Duterte said it is “injustice” committed against Filipinos, saying workers cannot acquire the skills they learned. Roxas vowed to create “more job opportunities” and would address the loopholes under the current law in three months. In order for millions of Filipinos to be given a chance to be employed, Santiago, on the other hand, would invest on public infrastructure development.

All the five also promised to improve the plight of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Binay promised to provide a pension plan for OFWs. Roxas will direct Philippine embassies to be open on weekends to attend to OFWs. Santiago and Poe promised to create more jobs at home for OFWs. Duterte proposed the creation of a separate department and a bank for OFWs.

Poe announced that her husband, Teodoro “Neil” Llamanzares already renounced his US citizenship.

Binay, Poe and Roxas scored the most points.

Duterte leads but…

The latest Pulse Asia ABS-CBN survey, conducted from April 12 to 17, showed Rodrigo Duterte in first place with 34 percent, over Grace Poe, who topped pre-election surveys in the past, with 22 percent.

But Pulse Asia research director Ana Tabunda said the figures can still change as the survey was conducted before Duterte’s controversial rape joke and his threat to severe ties with the United States and Australia.

A survey conducted by ‘The Center’ of Ed Malay, conducted after the rape joke, showed Duterte’s rating dropping to 26 percent.

In the Pulse Asia ABS-CBN survey, vice presidentiable Bongbong Marcos leads with 29 percent; Leni Robredo getting 23 percent at second place; Francis Escudero is down to third with 20 percent; and Alan Peter Cayetano in fourth place with 16 percent.

Sotto tops survey

Senator Tito Sotto topped the last Pulse Asia senatorial survey, with 49 percent. Manny Pacquiao is in sixth place, with 39 percent. Joel Villanueva is in ninth place, with 35 percent. Leila de Lima is in 12th place, with 35 percent, while Sherwin Gatchalian and TG Guingona are in 13th place and 14th place respectively. Isko Moreno is in 15th place.

Those below 15th have no chance of winning.

Voters have expressed disapproval of TG Guingona’s handling of Blue Ribbon Committee hearings, Manny Pacquiao is sure to win.

Another “tanim bala” case

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the latest case of bullet-planting or tanim-bala scheme at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The senior couple victims are 78-year-old Esteban Cortabista and his 75-year-old wife Salvacion Cortabista.

The couple were barred from leaving on a Korean Airlines flight for Los Angeles.

The couple denied owning the bullet. Their niece, Fei Balagot, said the couple were asked to pay P50,000 to settle the case.


Senator Francis Escudero practically admitted he is a smoker and he drinks liquor but he is not a “lasenggo.”

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales issued Office Circular No. 12, requiring strict compliance with the no smoking policy in the office.

Dagupan Barangay Health Workers’ Association (BHWA) and Daycare Center Teacher (DCT) conducted a protest against Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, in front of the University of Pangasinan on Sunday. Myra Quinto, president of the BHWA, said abuse of women is abuse of power, adding that rape is a heinous crime.


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