(From AP)

One Philippine presidential candidate warned of a bloody presidency, promising to take down criminals and the corrupt in six months. Others pledged to lift many from poverty and offered a way out of daily miseries, including a new way for fishermen to locate catch faster via radar technology.

(from left) Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas after a presidential candidates debate held in Cagayan de Oro city Feb. 21

The five aspirants addressed personal issues, including graft allegations, womanizing, incompetence, a bout with lung cancer and a lack of experience as they squared off Sunday in a nationally televised debate ahead of the May 9 presidential election.

Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista said the two-hour debate, the first to be organized by the commission in 24 years, aimed to shift the public’s focus toward policy talk and programs to confront social ills.

Voters being swayed more by personalities, patronage politics and showbiz-like campaigns have long been a concern in the Philippines, which continues to grapple with widespread poverty, Marxist and Muslim insurgencies, corruption and other major problems three decades after toppling a dictatorship through a “people power” revolt. Read More

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