Viewers can watch the full Philippines vice presidential debate online and see the candidates make their cases just a few weeks before election day.
The Harapan Bise debate took place on Sunday night, with several sharp exchanges among the candidates. It was also notable for some absences, including Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
The debate included Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Sen. Francis Escudero, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. Sen. Gringo Honasan also skipped the debate.
Full video of Sunday’s Philippines vice presidential debate can be found in the video below.
Some of the sharpest attacks of the night came against Marcos, PhilStar noted, with his opponents taking on his family’s controversial wealth. Marcos has performed well in polls, making him the popular target for other candidates, and the same was true of Sunday’s debate. When the event turned to a face-off segment that allowed candidates to ask direct questions of one another, most turned on Marcos.
Marcos’ record even led to some attacks against others, PhilStar noted. Robredo called out Cayetano, asking how he can criticize human rights abuses that took place under martial law if he belongs to the same party as Marcos. It was Marcos’ father, late president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who declared martial law to address what he said were security threats to the Philippines.
Those who watch the Philippines vice presidential debate will see Cateyano on the attack, taking a sharp stance against Marcos.
“Imagine if 20 years from now Mikey Arroyo or the daughter of (pork barrel scam suspect Janet) Napoles runs for office. Should we allow them to use our money?” the senator said in Filipino.
Cateyano had been relentless in his attacks on Marcos in the first Philippines vice presidential debate, held last week. He listed figures about the ill-gotten wealth Marcos was using to bankroll his political career, with Cateyano making a point of his stance against corruption.
The performance led Rappler editors to declare Cateyano the winner of the first debate.
It is not yet clear what effect the second Philippines presidential debate could have on the race. In the days before Sunday’s debate, the Filipino Channel’s daily newscast, Balitang America, polled voters on whom they planned to vote for, finding that Marcos had support of 38 percent of voters. Robredo was close behind, at 37 percent.
As the Asian Journal noted, the poll found that Marcos has extended his share of the vote in recent weeks, but Robredo has as well.
“The presidential front-runner’s running mate Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano placed third with 19 percent, while Sen. Gringo Honasan got one percent. No one among the viewers who voted picked Sen. Antonio Trillanes.
“The Fil-Am poll result is close to the latest Pulse Asia Survey commissioned by ABS-CBN, released on April 12, which shows Marcos leading with 28 percent, followed by Robredo with 22 percent, who is statistically tied with Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero, who got 21 percent.
“Cayetano placed fourth with 15 percent, followed by Senators Gregorio ‘Gringo’ Honasan II and Antonio Trillanes IV with five percent and four percent, respectively.”
Polls for the Philippines presidential race is just as tight, with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte recently overcoming the longtime frontrunner, Sen. Grace Poe, to lead by a roughly five-point margin. Vice President Jejomar Binay and the Liberal Party’s Mar Roxas are close behind at third and fourth.
The Philippines vice presidential debate will not be the last time voters get to hear from candidates before next month’s vote. A final presidential debate is scheduled for next Sunday.
[Image via CNN Philippines screenshot]