For the third and final presidential debate held on April 24 at the PHINMA University of Pangasinan, all five candidates addressed issues such as peace in Mindanao, health care for the masses, and the worsening traffic condition in Manila. Throughout the town hall debate, Senator Grace Poe constantly referred to motherhood, womanity, and their underlying principles while answering the questions directed at her.
During the face-off round, Poe questioned Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte about his rape comment and women’s rights.
Watch their head to head interview below!
Duterte explained how in Davao, women are banned from wearing revealing swimsuits and bikinis—a move that was put in place to protect them. He also said that Davao is the first city to have a Woman’s Desk. Poe was quick to point out, however, that a Woman’s Desk does not give him the right to address women a certain way. She said, “Pero sa tingin niyo ba na porket na mayroong isang women’s desk ay puwede na yung ganung pananalita?” Poe concluded by saying, “But perhaps should you become President, perhaps women will appreciate more respect, even a little restraint.”
During discussions on the plight of overseas Filipino workers, Poe vowed to establish a PhilHealth card that could be used anywhere in the world, as well as a 24-hour hotline that OFWs could contact. But what she ultimately stressed was a better economy for OFWs, so that they can come home whenever they want to and be able to find jobs in the Philippines. “Lalago ang ating ekonomiya para hindi na ninyo kailangan umalis, at kung umalis man kayo ay dahil ito’y sa kagustuhan ninyo. Maraming nililikha na problema dahil nawawalay sa pamilya. Bilang isang nanay, bilang isang babae, gusto ko magsama-sama na tayo,” she emphasized.
In her closing statement, Poe rose up to the challenge of being a female president. “Sabi ng iba, kaya ba ng isang babae ang mamuno sa gitna ng lahat ng hinaharap ng ating bansa? Kaya bang labanan ang problema ng krimen at droga? Kaya bang labanan ang Tsina at iba pang banta sa ating bayan? Mga kababayan, ang mga babae ay mapagtimpi. Ang mga babae ay pasensiyosa. Ang mga babae ay mapagmahal. Pero ‘pag nilagay mo sa alanganin ang mga mahal nito sa buhay, ang mga babae ay hindi sumusuko."
Watch her closing statement below!
She concluded, “Mga kababayan, dapat mas maraming mga babae, sa totoo lang, ang bigyan ng pagkakataon sa gobyerno, sapagkat tayo ay nakakaramdam. Inaalagaan natin ang ating pamilya. Totoo, kailangan ng ilaw ng tahanan pero higit sa lahat kailangan ng pagmamahal, pag-aruga at pagprotekta. Kaya ng mga babae.”
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