February 26, 2016

2 UP Debater-Friends talk about PiliPinas Debates 2016

Thinking Pinoy (TP) and JC have been friends for more than a decade. They met through the UP Debate Society, where both of them were members. In this article, let me, TP, share with you our real-time conversation while we were both watching the Presidential Debates on GMA 7 aired Sunday, February 21st.

Opening statements

(Binay gives his opening statement)

JC: Pakshet na Binay.

TP: LOL, pero masasakit sinabi kay Roxas. “Analysis paralysis” daw ang problema ng Daang Matuwid. Tama din siya vis-a-vis MRT handing noong 2011 at 2012 under DOTC’s Roxas. Lalo na ung 2-ish PPP projects lang ng Daang Matuwid over 6 years.

JC: Haha! It's amusing. Nakakatawa lang ang opening statements. Beauty contest?

TP: Yung opening ni Miriam, disappointment. Yung kay Duterte expected na, nothing new. Yung kay Poe, pang beauty contest lang ang sagot. Yung kay Mar, we already know that. MY GOD, PEOPLE! TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW!

JC: This is more entertaining than informative so far. But you have to admit Mar's opening statement was ballsy.

TP: Yes it was. Sinasagasaan ni Mar lahat nung apat na kalaban e. Patama agad. Pero imply ni Poe, you’ve been in government for 16 years and you’re inutil.

Round 1: Track Record

Q for Binay: "How did you amass your real property and wealth?
Binay: I either inherited or bought these over 3 decades."
Santiago: "Did Binay acquire his properties before he was elected or when he was already in office?"

JC: Lol, the subtexts are gold

TP: Pero yari din si Binay kasi hind niya nasagot ung acquisition ng real estate, kung saan galing ang pondo ng acquisitions niya after becoming Makati Mayor.

JC: He had to explain so much, he ran out of time. Kurakot kasi.
Q for Santiago: "You have attended fewer than 10 plenary sessions in the 16th Congress. Why are you running despite your illness?"
Santiago: "It's my right to run under the Constitution. Sickness does not disqualify you...Eh, hindi ako pinatay ng guardian angel ko!"
Duterte: "I will not go into a debate with Ma'am Miriam. She's telling the truth. I do not see Senator Santiago passing away in the next 20 years."
TP: Weak ang sagot ni Miriam regarding her health. She can run daw because health is not required under the law. Ate, ayoko ng presidenteng pirmes na naka-sick leave.

JC: Super weak talaga.

TP: I was disappointed at Duts’ rebuttal about Miriam’s health. Pero I guess he can’t rebut her to the max considering the Duterte health issue that LP is desperately trying to magnify.
Q for Duterte: "Are you a role model for the youth? Are your qualities those we need in a president?
Duterte: As long as I do it in accordance with the law, I will continue to kill criminals...I will use the military and police to go after drugs. I do not deny anything...If I become president, it will be bloody."
TP's Note: This is also the part where he said "It's Biology."
TP: In fairness, si Duterte ang model ng consistency, for better or for worse.

JC: Hahaha. True.

TP: He gives real answers… Not like real “real”, pero like, unfiltered real.

JC: True. Sumakit ulo ko kakatawa sa sagot niya about his women.

TP: Lol. E totoo naman kasi. Realtalk lang. Di naman niya kino coerce ang mga mujer so what’s the problem.

TP: Sabi ni Grace, paano daw kung may asawa? That's an invalid question/rebuttal because it assumes na may asawa ang pinapatos ni digong. If he raped or molested someone, sige I’ll go for someone else. Normal sa tao ang makati. Please lang ha, wag na tayo maglokohan dito.

JC: Remember the self-righteous-bordering-on-hypocritical-country we live in.

TP: What I appreciate ay yung linya ni Duterte about killings. Laging may “in accordance with the law”, ulit ulit.

JC: My thoughts too.

Round 2: Agriculture

Topic: "One in every 4 families fell below the poverty line as of 2014. How will you reduce poverty without giving consumers a raw deal?"
Binay: "We will modernize agriculture by modernizing post-harvest facilities, attracting more capital for infra (among others)."
Poe: "Irrigation should be free. Crop insurance should be expanded. We need agro-industrial zones. Public schools should offer free lunch. The poorest Filipinos are in agriculture; they need subsidies. When importing, let's consider the plight of farmers."

TP: Solid answer from Binay regarding agriculture.

JC: Nuanced naman from Poe.

TP: Yeah, but she didnt rebut. Inatake dapat ni Poe ang feasibility ng plano ni Binay vis-a-vis corruption cases. Pero in fairness, Wikipedia mode si Ate Grace.

JC: I love her tone and fiction. I mean, diction.

TP: Pero alam mo yung parang ako dati na may kinabisadong mga statistics tapos ipinipilit na isaksak sa speech kahit hindi naman 100% relevant sa tanong? LOL. Sa bagay, sayang ang minemorize kung di lang rin gagamitin.

TP: Si Poe, her answers cite statistics that are impressive, pero feasibility dapat kasi issue niya from start to finish considering her thin resume. We know what should be done, she should explain how she can manage to do it.
Q for Santiago: "The Philippine economy has grown but many Filipinos remain poor. How would you redistribute wealth?"
Santiago: "Let's expand the budget for health, education, rural infrastructure, social welfare. We can decrease sub-taxes, like real estate tax. ”
Roxas: "We have safety nets, like Philhealth. I will continue this if elected as president."
Santiago: “Promises are easy to make. Which president has ever reduced poverty? Where are we going to get the money for these programs?”

TP: Non-answer from Miriam. Di tugma sa tanong ang sagot. Self-defeating din. Expand budget pero cut taxes, tapos sinabi pang promises are easy to make. Hala si Lola, self-incriminating.

JC: She sounds shaky. Why? This is not the Miriam I grew up seeing.

TP: Non-reply from Miriam from uli.
Q for Roxas: "How will you improve the lives of fishers and protect our seas?"
Roxas: "Access to low-interest credit and modern tech, like radars, are essential. They also need post-catch facilities and access to markets."
Duterte: "I cannot rebut what he has said because that is all true. The problem is we have so many problems to solve. Implementation is the key."

JC: Shet baket pautang sa magsasaka ang sinabi ni Mar Roxas? Di ba pwedeng subsidy?

TP: What’s funnier is he mentioned Bottom-up Budgeting. Equals Php 100 billion Walang  Iwanan Fund. Equals Pork Barrel. Ayan si Duterte na magrerebut. This will be interesting.

JC: Lol at Duterte’s answer, pero non-clash.

TP: It’s a subtle clash actually. He cited incompetence and corruption. Pero hindi head-on ang clash. It’s disappointing. Sabi ni Roxas e Hindi ko hahayaan ang korupsyon" – sarap ibalibag ng SR Metals Inc to his face.

JC: People aren't clashing.

TP: Non-answer from Mar too…

JC: Sumasakit ulo ko.

TP: Haha! Lol, I know! The candidates are too eager to advertise.

JC: Ugh! I'm tempted to resume our ‘The Flash’ marathon.
(Note from TP: There should be clashes of ideas during debates, because that’s what a debate means.)

TP: Maybe they don't have to? Dahil puro truistic ang mga sagot? Benefit of the doubt ang peg.

JC: Yup. Sablay ang mga tanong. Dapat mas specific at hindi pang beauty contest ang mga tanong.
Q for Duterte: "How will you fight rice cartels and price manipulation?"
Duterte: "Sus, Ma'am. I'll do it in 3-6 months. I will arrest smugglers, build food terminals, establish credit coops with P1B per region."
Binay: "Leaders cannot be effective if they are not decisive. That is why nothing is being done against smuggling."

TP: Kaloka si Binay. Ang task ay i-rebut si Duterte, pero ang rebuttal niya, nakatutok kay Roxas. Diyos ko Jejomar.

JC: Pero, 3-6 months lang talaga?

TP: Haha. For better or for worse.

GMA anchor Mike Enriquez. The most amateur-ish facilitator, ever.

JC: Sarap kutusan ni Mike Enriquez ha.

TP: Oo sobrang amateurish ni Mike. Isa pa jajackpot na sakin yan.

JC: LOL true. Jessica Soho is like, wtf r u doin 'brah?

TP: LOL yes.

Q for Poe: "Will you push for the Bangsamoro Basic Law or will you pursue a new agreement?"
Poe: "We need a transparent, inclusive, sustainable talks and agreement and consult everyone, including Christians in Mindanao...we also need to invest more in the growth of Mindanao."
Duterte: "Unless we pursue federalism, nothing can appease Mindanao. I would offer not only the BBL, but federalism. You have to right the historical wrongs committed against Mindanao."

TP: Totoo lang ha, Poe is starting to sound like a UP Debate Society applicant, emphasis on “applicant”.

TP: Non-answer from Binay.

JC: Dafuq. Hay Binay.

TP: IKR. In fairness reasonably nuanced si Duterte this time about improving agriculture.

JC: Yes. Best answer in that round. Not as nuanced as Poe’s pero si poe, pang Miss U lagi ang sagot. Walang feasibility aspect.

TP: Ang daming commercial break ha

JC: True

TP: Tanong kasi dapat kay Poe, ‘Given your inexperience and lack of political affiliation, how can you maneuver the gargantuan bureaucracy to follow your bidding and avoid a coup d’etat in the process?

JC: Korek. But I really love the sound of her voice

TP: Yeah I like the manner too but it’s easy promise, delivering on those promises is another matter.

JC: Poe’s debate style is without substance.

TP: True. Segue lang -- Yung Bottom-up Budgeting ni Mar Roxas. It’s extremely problematic. Kung mahirap lang akong mamamayan sa isang town na dominated ng isang political clan, pano ako kokontra sa budget hearings aber? And that's the story of the Philippines.

JC: True.

TP: BuB is de facto pork barrel. Dahil kung sino incumbent yon masusunod. Or worse, it can be an avenue for regular people to partake in corruption, i.e. if there 3 or so dissidents, tapalan na lang ng pera para tumigil, tapos si mayor pa rin masusunod.

TP: So far I've seen 2 prez commercials - Binay and Poe. Nag tone down ata ang ads ni Roxas. Iwas ata pahalata na marami masyadong pera.

Round 3: Mindanao's issues vis-a-vis Social Media

360 degree camera daw. Dear GMA, wala kaming pakialam sa audience. Kthxbye.

TP: Tutuktukan ko talaga tong si Mike Enriquez. Aaanin ba ang lecheng 360 degree camera na yan? Gusto naming ay content at hindi delivery. Letse. Ang dami masyadong gimmick, hindi magfocus na lang sa debate. Maryosep.

JC: Katawa ang ads. Ginebra tapos Tang Orange.

TP: LOL. Wala na kasing Pomelo. Gin-Pom dapat yan e.

JC: True. Baka dapat uminom habang nanunuod. Shot every time may truistic answer.

TP: True

JC: Ayan totoo nang ROUND 3.

Q for Duterte: "How will you prevent irregularities in infrastructure projects?"
Duterte: "64% of projects are in Metro Manila. Mindanaoans are angry because we are not getting a fair share of tax revenue...That's why people clamor for federal government."
Roxas: "Mindanao today has twice the amount of infra in 5 years than it did in Estrada, Arroyo years. But yes, that's not enough."
Duterte: "Wala akong nakitang tuwid na daan. Puro kulubot naman yan."

TP: Valid ang point ni Mar na past 5 yrs spending on Mindanao beats the combined 12 years of Estrada and Arroyo. Pero ang point ni Duterte, bakit ngayon sa 2016 budget, iniwan na naman ang Mindanao? If the platform is continuity, there appears to be no continuity vis-a-vis 2016 budget.

JC: But there is no debate. It's starting to look like a panel discussion.

TP: Oo, puro sound bites. Terrible format. Dapat yung mga exact na hard-hitting questions, leche. Siguro puro matanda nagsulat ng tanong kasi sobrang apologetic ng tone ng mga tanong.

JC: Yup. Nakakatamad na. Mali ang format. Mali.

TP: CHREW. Back to topic - Remember that Mar is the face of Daang Matuwid. Strengths and flaws and achievements and mistakes, he is Daang Matuwid's poster boy. Kaya every ek ek against RP Government, it's against mar.
Mar Roxas mentions something about “Makati ng mga Ayala” and “Makati ng mga Binay”.

JC: AYANNNN Binay! BURRRRN!!! Hahaha!

TP: HAHAHAHA Fairness to Mar, 1 point!

JC: Potah.
Mike Enriquez suggests na i-extend ang away ni Binay at Roxas.
Mike asks the audience, "Itutuloy ba? Palakpak! Yon! Yon o!"

TP: Di dapat ituloy. thats against the rules. Personally, gusto ko sila magsabunutan. Pero paano yung tatlo? Equal protection clause please.

JC: Si Mike Enriquez parang tanga lang.

TP: Palakpak daw? Tanga ang putangina. Presidential debate to hoy, hindi away sa palengke! Hina-high blood na ako dyan kay lola ha.

Q for Binay: "How will you support the bill against political dynasties?"
Binay: "We need to define clearly what a dynasty is. Why should we limit the number of qualified candidates who can win in an honest election?"
Santiago: "Self-interest keeps Congress from enacting an anti-dynasty law. To end them, we can amend the Constitution."
JC: Hence Nancy Binay? Da Fuck?

TP: I was expecting more conciseness from Miriam. Damang dama ang poot ni Mar kay Binay. Di ako maka get-over.

JC: She sounds frail… Ayy! Sakit ng sinabi ni Binay na si Miriam, may anak na halal din.

TP: Ayan sinabi ni Miriam na walang anak sa gob si lola. Pero nagpatakbo pa rin, ganun din yun. Counter pa rin sa anti-dynasty stance ni Miriam kasi kahit di na, pinatakbo pa rin.
Malapit nang mag commercial break.

JC: PUTANGINA MAS MAHABA PA ANG COMMERCIAL KAYSA SA PALABAS. Wait I really need a break. Full blown migraine na ito

20 minutes of commercials later…
Q for Santiago: "Are you in favor of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, as one way to counter China's influence?"
Santiago: "I am against the Edca. It should've first passed the Senate, not just the executive department...Let us stand for our sovereign rights."
Poe: "I agree with Senator Santiago. The Senate needs to review Edca. We must put the country's interests first. We can also strengthen our military, the way Singapore has. Let us take a leadership role in the Asean."
TP: Eka ni Miriam, kung gusto nilang mag-away (US vs China), e d problema niyo yan bat niyo kami isasangkot.

JC: Miriam is being eaten alive my god.

TP: Sagwa ng time management

JC: She sounds sick, promise.

TP: IKR. It’s unfortunate.

JC: I feel awful for her.
Q for Poe: "Will you push for the Bangsamoro Basic Law or will you pursue a new agreement?"
Poe: "We need a transparent, inclusive, sustainable talks and agreement and consult everyone, including Christians in Mindanao...we also need to invest more in the growth of Mindanao."
Duterte: "Unless we pursue federalism, nothing can appease Mindanao. I would offer not only the BBL, but federalism. You have to right the historical wrongs committed against Mindanao."
TP: Poe is clueless, she wants absolute inclusiveness in peace talks. Good luck na lang kung kaya niyang pauupin in one room kahit for 10 seconds lang lahat yon. Eh lobby pa lang ng building, nagpatayan na yan.

JC: Lol.

TP: Her inexperience is showing. Blatantly.

JC: True

TP: Good answer from Duterte.

TP: Hala! Sabi ni Poe, kailangan ng bayan ay devolution of powers. Pero Ate Grace, it cannot happen under 1987 constitution. Clueless is ate na naman. 1987 constitution, by nature, is about centralization of power.

JC: In fairness kay Duts.

TP: Trew. The issue with the current unitary government is the fleetingness of every attempt at decentralizing power. From the Tripoli Agreement to Cory to FVR to Erap to GMA to PNoy, iba-iba ang policy sa Mindanao.
Duterte suggests extending the debate by an hour.

JC: May point siya (Duterte) about extending the time.

TP: Yeah, 2 hours lang tapos 1.5 hours don commercial.

JC: True. They barely scratched the surface of the important issues.

TP: kung iyan e ginawa sa PTV 4, kahit 4 days ang debate pwede. Tulog kain lang ang break lol. Wala pang commercial.

JC: LOL. Oo nga e. Ngayon lang ako nakapanuod ng ganyan karaming commercials.

TP: Talagang depressing pag kinumpara mo don sa Democratic Debates (Clinton vs Sanders vs O’Malley). Sobrang dirediretso at minimal bullshit from anchors/moderators. Dito parang mas matagal pa dumakdak si Mike at Jessica kesa kandidato.

TP: Well, for what it’s worth, mas marami commercial ‘pag laban ni Pacquiao.

JC: Kaya makaubos nga ng isang stick ng yosi sa commercial break.

TP: Go.
10 years of commercials later…

Closing Statements

TP: Jusko ang telemprompter ng GMA 7, parang PPP Program ng gobyerno. Ang bagal atang magscroll. Nabubulol na ang already-bulol na Mike Enriquez.

JC: True. Kasuya si Mike.

Binay: "Given my experience and my record of helping the poor, I believe underspending needs to end. Underspending leads to underperformance. That's why our infrastructure needs are not being met."

TP: Binay is the last guy na inaasahan kong kokontra sa underspending. Right Message, wrong messenger.

JC: Lol true.

Santiago: "We are looking for a real leader. This is not a personality contest or entertainment. There should be academic excellence, as head of the class or at least an honors student. The leader should have shown professional and moral excellence. Good luck to you and good luck to all of us."

TP: Kay Miriam - parang fresh grad lang vine-vet sa isang entry level job ang prez. disappointing.

JC: True. Sad.
Duterte: "Nganong nia man ko diri. I am here because I love our country. I am a native of the Philippines...it seems nobody is minding the store! If you choose me and God wills it, I will get rid of drugs, suppress crime and stop corruption in government in 3 to 6 months."
TP: Tall order ang kay Duterte, but I can see the conviction. And he’s uncharacteristically concise. Nuknukan ng daldal at long-winding ang mga speech niya usually. Not this time though.

JC: 3-6 months? Scary time frame, though.

TP: Yes it is. But its either we do it or we dont.

Poe: "This is not about candidates but about what's important to you. For Mindanao, I will rehab the power system, provide more jobs, fight corruption. My first executive order will require Freedom of Information. Yes, I am new, but our problems are not new and we have tried to fix them with old solutions."

TP: Anak ng tokwa naman si Grace. Unang executive order daw niya ay Freedom of Information. Tanga rin. Mas mataas ang RA kaysa EO. Bank secrecy law pa lang, talo na ang EO 1.

JC: Sarap tuktukan kasama ni Mike Enriquez.

TP: Oo pag uuntugin ko yan. O ayan si Roxas, kumuha na raw tayo ng tissue.

Roxas: "Why do I want to be president? Gusto ko maging maayos din ang buhay ninyo, malaya sa gutom, malaya sa takot, malayang mangarap."
JC: Lol. (listens to Roxas) Ugh, another truistic answer. Dapat they tell us what sets them apart from everybody else.

TP: Duterte, no matter how crazy his promise is, shows a clear brand. I am trying my best to be objective here. pero this debate talaga is disappointing at best.

JC: True. This is the shittiest presidential debate format I have ever seen. But it's a first for the Philippines.

TP: MORAL LESSON: ZEST-O for President. Sa dami ng commercial ng Zest-o, Zest-o ang mananalo.

JC: LOL. Hayan pati asawa ko nag biogesic na.

TP: I would admit though that Poe gave the best textbook answers. But her inexperience and unaffiliated-ness overshadows everything she said, kasi basically gusto niya sabihin na lets vote for her dahil GANDA LANG.

JC: Agree.

TP: Haggard. Anyway sige't magpahinga ka na muna. Ako'y naiirita rin sa ginawa ng GMA 7. Even IBC 13 could do better.

JC: Sige ihihiga ko muna to. Kasuyang debate yan


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