For the second round of the Visayas leg of the PiliPinas Debates 2016, the four presidential candidates were tasked to challenge one of their opponents with their own question.
TV5’s News Head Luchi Cruz-Valdes presented the rules as such: each candidate will have 30 seconds to ask a question, and the partner candidate has three minutes to answer. Both candidate will then be given 30 seconds each if they have any rebuttal.
The partners were chosen a week ahead.
Vice President Jejomar Binay will ask Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte a question. Duterte will query Senator Grace Poe. Poe will then ask administration candidate Mar Roxas, while Roxas will ask Binay.
The round started cordially, after Binay refused to ask Duterte any question.
“Wala po akong itatanong kay Mayor Duterte kasi pareho kaming qualified to become President of the Philippines,” Binay said.
Duterte looked pleased. “Wala rin ho akong masagot. Mas qualified siya kaysa sa akin maging Presidente.”
Duterte and Binay then shook hands.
DUTERTE VS POE. Duterte then quizzed Poe about her immediate actions following an immediate attack by Chinese forces.
But Poe seemed to have misinterpreted the question, and began laying out her plans for a stronger military and forcing an arbitration with the land-grabbing China.
“Talo talaga tayo sa China ngayon 'pag tayo ay lumaban.
"Kailangan natin talaga na magdesisyon na ang arbitration court at sabihin na since ang China ay pumirma rito, kailangan nilang tanggapin ang kasunduan sa ating bansa.
"Ito namang Pilipinas, kailangang makipagsapalaran kasama ng mga ibang ASEAN countries katulad ng Vietnam, Indonesia at Malaysia para constructively engage and China to follow a code of conduct.
"Hindi ko papayagan na mamamatay ang ating mga sundalo na walang kalaban-laban,” she explained.
Duterte had to clarify his question for Poe.
“If you are informed in the middle of the night, you’re awakened, na yung dalawang coast guard natin, pinasabog ng China with missles, what would be the first three steps that you would do?” he asked again.
She opened with a humorous reply.
“Siyempre ang Presidente, kailangan ay bumangon agad. Hindi ba? Hindi naman puwedeng, e, mamaya na ‘yan, mamayang alas-singko, mamayang alas-sais.
"Mabilis na babangon ang Presidente at itatawag ang head ng AFP, at ang head ng DOTC,” she replied, and the audience laughed.
Poe then talked about asking for help from foreign forces.
“Ngayon, meron taying Visiting Forces Agreement.
"Meron tayong kasunduan sa ibang bansa kung paano tayo dedepensahan.
"Totoo, ayaw nating umasa sa kanila. Pero kung tayo lamang ay hindi natin kaya,” she said.
POE VS ROXAS. Poe then threw a pointed question at Roxas. She criticized his work as the head of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), where Roxas faced a number of harsh situations like the Mamapasano deaths, the Yolanda tragedy and the 2013 Zamboanga siege.
Poe pointed out that even if Roxas was present on-ground during these events, President Noynoy Aquino had to fly in and help him. In the case of Mamapasano, Roxas was not even informed of it before the operation happened. Asked Poe, could it be that Aquino does not trust Roxas to lead?
Roxas was on the defensive. He said that it is the job of the President to be present.
“Trabaho po ng Pangulo para palakasin ang loob ng ating mga nasa front lines.
"'Yan man ay nasa sakuna, nasa giyera, sa kapulisan. Siguro 'yan pon ang kaibahan natin.
"Ako, pag ako po ang naging pangulo, pupuntahan ko. 'Yan ang pinakita ko noong DOTC ako, 'yan ang pinakita ko noong DILG ako.
"Hindi ko makakayanan na makita na may problema, na may magagawa naman ako,” he said.
There was a scuffle after Roxas gave his response because Binay and Duterte wanted to chime in. Poe asked moderator Luchi Cruz-Valdez to allow the two to speak, but Roxas brought up that the rules had to be followed.
The moderator then had to remind them that the rules for this round is that only the partnered candidates can talk.
But Poe was adamant. “We’ve given you also certain concessions because we started late,” she said.
Luchi said the two can speak if the four of them can have a consensus.
"Mar disagreed, “Lahat tayo nagsasabi, rule of law. Lahat tayo nagsasabi ipapatupad natin ang batas, tapos ngayon ayusan, aregluhan? Hindi 'yan ang Pilipinas na nais kong pamunuan.”
Because the four candidates cannot agree to a consensus, Luchi ended this portion and moved on to the next partners.
ROXAS VS BINAY. For this portion, Roxas brought up the corruption issues against Binay. Roxas instructed the Vice President to use the debates as a platform to deny the multi-million accusations.
But Binay did not give a categorical answer. He accused Roxas of leading the demolition job against him.
“Talagang kumbinsido na ho ako na ikaw ay isa sa mga namumuno sa paggawa ng demolition by perception.
"Ako ho dumating dito, kaya ko pinaggi-gitgitan, ilabas ko ho ang aking mga dokumento, para ipakita ko sa inyo ang aking SALN, kung ano ho ang net worth ko, ang aking income tax returns, para malaman niyo kung saan galing ang net worth na iyon,” he said.
He also pointed out that he shouldn’t be called corrupt yet because the courts have not convicted him for it.
“Ang puno’t dulo nito e rule of law. Corruption is a criminal offense.
"Pero, hindi ka puwede namang masabing guilty kung walang hatol ang hukuman.
"E, ang nangyayari sa ginagawa ninyo, bintang-bintang nang walang katotohanan.
"Hindi naman sinasabing pag may findings and COA, bakit? Hukuman ba ang COA para magsabing guilty or not guilty?”
He also compared Roxas to Joseph Goebbels, the chief propagandist of dictator Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945.
“Sabagay, ito naman ho talaga ang hirap na magtrabaho sa gobyerno.
"'Pag pinagbintangan ka, na katulad nang magbibintang e si Secretary Roxas, na parang disipulo ho ito ni Goebbels, na yun ho e kakasabi ho ng kasinungalingan, e baka maniwala ho ang mga tao.
"E, iba ho ang mga botante natin. Hindi niyo ho madadala ang mga tao sa puro kasinungalingan,” he said.
In his rebuttal, Roxas had to bring up the overpricing of several Makati purchases.
“Imbes na sinagot ninyo, si Goebbels o sino pa ang inyong nabanggit. Ito po, sabi ng COA mismo.
"COA nagsasabi nito, Senado nagsabi nito, hindi ako.
"Ang kama ho, 34,000 pesos. Ito po ay hospital bed, para sa ospital ng Makati po ito.
"Nabili po ninyo, 500,000 pesos. Ito ay mga aktwal na datos na lumabas sa COA report,” Roxas said.
Binay had to discredit the Commission on Audit’s (COA) recent findings. He said the previous audits found no irregularities, and the recent audit is a result of a threat from the Senate.
“Taun-taon kung maka-anim o pitong taon, sinabi ng COA na regular, tama ang mga pangyayari.
"Ngayon, dahil dun sa lumabas sa Senado, yung mga kasama mo, e sinabi, COA, maglagay ka ng special audit. Special audit.
"Pero may sinabi kang, kung kayo magkakaroon ng special audit, palalabasin niyo na may kasalanan ang mga Binay.
"At kung hindi, at kung hindi, this is part of the record, excuse me ha? At kung hindi? Anong sabi ni Senator Trillanes? Isasama ka namin sa habla,” Binay said.
This exchange between Roxas and Binay closed the round two of the second PiliPinas Debates 2016.