Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II of the Liberal Party faced tough grilling from his closest rival in the vice presidential race during a television debate late Sunday evening but earned the highest “believability” rating among randomly-selected audience from Metro Manila, Naga, Cebu, and Davao who participated in the forum.
During the ABS-CBN’s Harapan: The Vice Presidential Debate held at the La Consolacion College in Manila, Roxas faced sarcastic questions from Senator Loren Legarda of the Nacionalista Party, who, on the other hand, did poorly based on feedback from some 180 citizen-participants monitored using the technology of wireless audience response system.
All throughout the forum, at least 80 to 90 percent of the participants believed Roxas as he answered Legarda’s questions on taxation, agrarian reform and the Cheaper Medicines Law, of which he is the primary author of the Senate version of the bill, and other questions in the debate’s four parts.
Just like in previous pre-election survey, Roxas also led by a wide margin over other vice presidential aspirants during the debate through informal online and text polls conducted among more than 2,900 users that tuned in to the forum.
Based on the online poll, 55 percent of online users chose Roxas as the most believable candidate among those who joined the debate. Makati Mayor Jejomar “Jojo” Binay and former Marikina Mayor Bayani “BF” Fernando were tied at second place with 14 percent each, followed by former Securities and Exchange Commissioner Perfecto “Jun” Yasay with nine percent, and tailed by Legarda and former broadcaster Jay Sonza with five percent each.
As for the text poll, Roxas landed first again with 57 percent of text voters while Binay placed second with 15 percent, closely followed by Fernando with 13 percent and Yasay with eight percent. Only actor Edu Manzano of the Lakas-Kampi CMD turned down the invitation to attend the debate.
During the first two parts of the debate, Roxas and Legarda faced each other as if in a faceoff. In the first round, Legarda asked why Roxas was among those who pushed for the enactment of the Valued Added Tax (VAT) Law if he is true to his pro-poor claim.
“There is nothing wrong with raising taxes especially since VAT will fund all the services that government should be giving. What is wrong is if these taxes are not used as intended—to benefit the people,” Roxas said, eliciting loud cheers from his supporters clad in yellow and blue shirts.
souce: manila bulletin online
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