For Malacañang, Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas emerged victorious in the presidential debate last weekend relegating his rivals to the sidelines.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office undersecretary Manolo Quezon III praised Roxas for his ability to think fast on his feet during the debate while mocking his opponents such as Vice President Jejomar Binay for refusing to face the corruption allegations against him.
“Secretary Roxas showed that he was the best prepared, that he was able to wait the timelines, which is important because it shows you he could think on this feet, marshal his thoughts, boil down complex questions into answers that met the timeline,” Quezon said in a Palace news conference.
“And I think people saw a new side of him that they may not have known in the past aside of great responsibility and great commitment,” he added.
Quezon, on the other hand, sneered at the debate performance of Roxas’ two closest rivals Binay and Senator Grace Poe.
He said Binay showed “great determination and great decisiveness in avoiding personal integrity as a qualification for the presidency.” He said the Vice President should have grabbed the chance to explain to the public the corruption allegations hurled against him, pointing out that “public office is a public trust.”
“The key is confronting your accuser and, by so doing, explaining to the people what your side of the question is.
It’s very interesting that the Vice President has consistently refused to this, particularly sa Senado,” Quezon said.
Quezon also took a swipe at Poe, saying many people were impressed with her ability to channel her “inner Escudero” in answering the questions during the debate. He was referring to Poe’s running mate Senator Francis Escudero who is perceived to be the puppet master pulling the senator’s strings.
Quezon had kind words for Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago who claimed she is qualified to run for president despite suffering from cancer. “Many people’s hearts were melted by the great personal courage shown by Senator Santiago in what was a very obvious great physical ordeal for her,” he said.
On Duterte’s debate performance, Quezon noted that the mayor provided “moments of enjoyment” of the viewers during the presidential debate. Duterte likewise “spent much time very graciously agreeing with everyone else he was debating with,” he added.