We were one with the nation in witnessing PiliPinas Debates 2016—the first time in 24 years that the Comelec, along with its media partners, held a presidential debate.
Presidential candidates Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Grace Poe, and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas were present at the historic two-hour event held at Capitol University in Cagayan De Oro.
Hosted by GMA-7's Mike Enriquez and Jessica Soho, PiliPinas Debates 2016 became a grand venue for candidates to sell their message and prove to voters why they're the most deserving to lead the nation moving forward. It even trended worldwide during its broadcast.
For those who weren't able to watch it, here is the full replay of the presidential debate:
From the intense discourses on the most pressing issues of the land to the most peculiar political banter exchanged, we, like the rest of the nation, got more hooked as the emotional affair heated up. Thoughts, questions, wisecracks kept popping into our heads as we listened to the candidates deliver their arguments. And while most have called the event relatively underwhelming, it still gave us an idea of what our future president would be like.
Here we present to you a blow-by-blow account of what went through our heads during the much-anticipated and politically charged showcase.
But first, some pre-debate pleasantries at the PiliPinas Debates 2016 holding room:
And now we begin...
(Think of this as the Director's Commentary on original DVDs. Watch the replay video and refer to the time marks to know what we're referring to, especially if the actual part is not illustrated through video or photo.)
0:42 - Already having a bad feeling the second Mike Enriquez opens with..."Palakpakan naman diyan, woy!"
3:41 - Seriously, Mike stuttering makes it look like he's more nervous than the candidates themselves.
4:28 - Why stammer at delicadeza, Binay?
9:45 - Introductions. Binay wastes no time using his go-to "Laki po ako sa hirap" spiel; Santiago cracks up the audience with that "swimming" punchline; Duterte gives us a glimpse of the "DuRiam" love team; Poe sounds like she did her homework; Roxas launches his "bus driver" analogy nationwide. Overall, a relatively calm introduction that didn't meet our expectation. Duterte and Roxas kick off the mudslinging portion but it lacks mud the fireworks to keep the discussion interesting.
21:42 - Wait, what? Vice MAYOR? Did Santiago just demote the Vice President?
21:53 - Binay casually addresses the senator—whom he claims as his friend—by her first name! Is this retaliation for her (unintended?) downgrading?
23:42 - We thought Santiago was going to charge at Jessica Soho; thank goodness she cited the Constitution! Take it easy, madam!
24:40 - Santiago is unequivocal in answering, save for a few zingers. Although she's noticeably not as sharp as her usual self...
25:51 - Saved by the bell! The birth of the newest split-screen sensation:
Watch your back, AlDub!
The mayor's face says it all:
On the other hand, did somebody not tell him to have his barong fully buttoned-up?
28:23 - Duterte starts off his argument sounding levelheaded, but comes off as being a bit brash in his wind-up. It's interesting to see if he'll sustain this manner of discussion.
29:28 - Poe employs the kiss-kick-kiss method, which we think is a safe approach when facing multiple opponents. And, you have to admit, she knows how to work the camera.
30:00 - Let's see if that "biology" reasoning would work with our own girlfriends, Mayor...
32:33 - That Roxas statement just doesn't add up. He just confirmed inviting Poe to be his running mate, aware of her "shallow" track record. Then he says that running for president isn't an OJT. Then why the hell did he want her on his team in the first place?
34:16 - The veep's smile: creepy or cute?
38:17 - Unsurprisingly, Roxas and Binay go at each other, arguing about Yolanda.
The burning question: Wouldn't it have been easier had the two of them joined forces (ex: Binay invites Roxas onboard his helicopter)?
(End of Round 1)
50:03 - Binay should really do something about his stuttering, the same way he has to validate his body of work in Makati (which has been in question for some time now), as both hinder the strength of his campaign principles.
51:11 - What is this "pa-lay" you speak of, Sen. Grace? Other than that, she obviously came to battle armed and prepared.
54:15 - Santiago hits back with a FlipTop-esque rebuttal on the subject of broken promises...
54:56 - ...but Poe is unfazed.
56:05 - Come on, Mike! This isn't your morning radio show! Stop with the "Excuse me po!" already.
57:52 - Long discourses prove to be quite a handful for the 70-year-old Santiago, or so it seems. She's clearly not in her best shape.
1:12:56 - A wild Bae-nay appears!
1:13:30 - And so it begins—the Duterte cuss counter.
1:13:47 - Meanwhile, the face of his running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, just turned pale.
(End of Round 2)
1:30:52 - And just when we thought we'd finally see that much-awaited slapfest between The Punisher and Mr. Palengke, the bell rings!
1:32:11 - Is it just us or is Mar always opening his answers with rhetorical, general statements? Just a waste of precious debate time, if you ask us.
1:35:45 - Possibly the most heated part of the debate.
1:38:00 - Vice digs deep into his pool of feelings.
1:40:09 - The issue on political dynasties had us checking out each presidential candidate's family tree.
1:52:54 - Being with running mate Chiz Escudero really did well for Poe's Tagalog speaking skills. Santiago, meanwhile, should build strength if she wishes to serve the country as president.
(End of Round 3)
1:57:55 - We don't think we could last five more hours of this.
2:12:38 - Binay rants about his concept of "underspending;" Santiago saves her best blow for last; Duterte hands out his crime ultimatum; Poe shows off her impressive research paper; Roxas looks like he was doing another election TVC—nothing out of the ordinary, aside from Poe not mentioning her father, the late great FPJ even once in her discussions.
2:13:57 - You've seen him kissed his lady supporters. Now, we introduce you to Digong, the gentleman:
2:14:29 - Strong candidate for Most Awkward Moment of the Year:
2:15:36 - What's for dinner?
(End of debate)