Philippine election candidates grilled on poverty, crime

MANILA, Philippines -- The five Philippine presidential candidates were grilled in a nationally televised debate Sunday on how they would fight the long-pestering problems of poverty, corruption and crime that have blighted their Southeast Asian nation through several presidencies.

See Full Article

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 via a "people power" revolt.

The elections commission brought back the presidential debates, which were last held in 1992, to allow Filipino voters to scrutinize the main contenders and help them "vote correctly," Bautista said. After Sunday's debate, held at a university in southern Cagayan de Oro city, two more will be staged in March and April ahead of the May 9 election.

The candidates were asked questions on a range of issues, including their anti-poverty and anti-crime strategies and how they would solve the decades-long Muslim insurrection in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

President Benigno Aquino III, who won with a landslide margin on a promise to battle poverty and corruption in 2010, ends his six-year term in June.

Under Aquino, the economy has been growing steadily. His predecessor has been detained on an elections fraud charge and three senators were separately detained on corruption charges under Aquino's anti-graft fight.

But daunting challenges remain, led by the poverty that grips about a fourth of the Philippines' 100 million people, forcing about a tenth of the population to seek jobs and better opportunities abroad.

The presidential contenders are Vice-President Jejomar Binay; Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of southern Davao city, where he has carved an image for his tough anti-crime campaign; Sen. Grace Poe, the adopted daughter of a popular movie couple; former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who has been endorsed by Aquino; and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a feisty former trial court judge.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Iranian plane crash kills all 66 on board

    World News CBC News
    An Iranian commercial aircraft carrying 66 people crashed on Sunday in the southern part of the country, with a spokesperson for the airline confirming to state television that all were killed as a result. The ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, went down near the remote mountain town of Semirom, some 620 kilometres south of the capital, Tehran. Source
  • Trump takes umbrage at his national security adviser's Russian interference comments

    World News CBC News
    President Donald Trump could not let his national security adviser's comments earlier Saturday in front of an international security conference about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election go unaddressed. Gen. H.R. McMaster told an audience at the Munich Security Conference that the evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 American election was beyond dispute. Source
  • Russia, U.S. tight-lipped about deadly Syria episode involving their forces

    World News CBC News
    The United States is still unsure who directed a Feb. 7 attack on U.S. and U.S.-backed forces in Syria, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday, even as he acknowledged accounts that Russian civilian contractors were involved. Source
  • Kosovo marks progress, if not universal recognition, on 10th anniversary

    World News CBC News
    Kosovo is celebrating 10 years of independence from Serbia in two-day festivities that started Saturday amid reminders of the obstacles to the country's full acceptance. President Hashim Thaci said during a panel at the Munich Security Conference that his country's decade-long history was "a story of success," but he lamented the European Union's lack of unity over Kosovo's status as a membership candidate. Source
  • Air Canada Express plane returns to Saskatoon due to flames near tail pipe

    Canada News CTV News
    SASKATOON - An Air Canada Express plane had to return to Saskatoon shortly after takeoff when flames were reported to be coming from it. Airline spokesperson Teri Udle says in an email that Flight 8585, a Dash 8 Q400 operated by Jazz, was on its way to Calgary on Saturday when flames were noticed near the left tail pipe. Source
  • 'I will not just shut up and dribble': LeBron James won't be silent on social issues

    World News CBC News
    LeBron James says he will not stick to sports. The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar reiterated his determination to speak out on social issues and the nation's political climate Saturday during his media availability for the NBA All-Star Game. Source
  • Trump focuses on first responders after Florida shooting

    World News CTV News
    POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- U.S. President Donald Trump has made a grim trip to a Florida community reeling from a deadly school shooting, meeting privately with victims and cheering the heroics of first responders. But he extended few public words of consolation to those in deep mourning, nor did Trump address the debate over gun violence that has raged since a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 and injured 14 others. Source
  • 'The pilot called mayday': Tailpipe flames force plane to return to Saskatoon airport

    Canada News CBC News
    A fire on an Air Canada Express plane forced an emergency landing at the Saskatoon airport on Saturday. Teri Udle of Jazz Aviation said in a statement that shortly after takeoff from Saskatoon at about 11:20 a.m. Source
  • Indian migrant workers file complaint over temple work with Ontario government

    Canada News CBC News
    Two migrant workers from India who say they faced harsh living conditions and were drastically underpaid as sculptors at a Hindu religious charity organization in Toronto are seeking thousands of dollars in unpaid wages from the Carnforth Road-based temple. Source
  • Israel slams Polish PM for WWII 'Jewish perpetrators' remark

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Israeli politicians accused Poland's prime minister of anti-Semitism Saturday for equating the Polish perpetrators in the Holocaust to its supposed "Jewish perpetrators," setting off a new chapter in an angry dispute over Poland's new bill criminalizing the mention of Polish complicity in the Nazi-led genocide. Source