Senator Allan Peter Cayetano may have won the all the rounds of the debate, but in the end, Camarines Sur representative Leni Robredo comes out as the overall winner of the Vice Presidential Debates held in University of Santo Tomas last Sunday, April 10.
The Liberal Party's bet came down with 242 votes (41.58%) of the total 582 votes in the online poll, just 31 votes ahead of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who obtained 211 votes (36.25%).
Analysts from Rappler have speculated that the closing statements of the candidates might have factored into the change of eventual winners of the debate. What follows is the closing statement of Robredo:
"Sa aking pag-iikot sa buong bansa, nagiging maliwanag na sa akin ang dahilan kung bakit ako nandito ngayon. Pakiramdam ko, buong buhay ko ay paghahanda. Iyong simpleng pamumuhay, iyong unos at kahirapan na pinagdaanan naming pamilya. Iyong aking matagal na panunungkulan sa mga nasa laylayan ng lipunan. Kapag binabalikan ko ang kuwento at mukha ng aking mga nakakasalamuha, sinasabi ko po sa sarili ko, 'Excited na akong manalo!” Hindi para sa sarili ko, pero para sa ating mga kababayan na umaasa na mayroong mamumuno sa kanila na hinding-hindi sila papabayaan.
Noong una po akong tumatakbo, halos wala po sa aking nakakakilala. Sa lahat po yata sa amin, pang-huli ako. Ngayon, hindi na ganoon ang kuwento. Malapit na, abot-kamay na ang tagumpay. Isa po akong ina, at hindi ko po papabayaan ang aking mga anak, hindi ko po papabayaan ang bayan. Naniniwala po ako sa dulo ng lahat, ang tama ang parating nananaig. Sa amin pong anim, may the best woman win!"
(As I travelled across the country, the reason why I am now here has become much clearer to me. I believe that my entire life was but a preparation. Our simple lifestyle, and the problems and tragedies that our family faced. That long term of service to the margins of our society. When I go back to the stories and faces of the people I have served, I tell myself that 'I'm excited to win!' This is not for myself, but for our countrymen who continue to hope for a leader who will not neglect them.
When I first started running, almost no one knew about me. I was the last among the polls. However, now, it is a different story. Victory is near, it is within reach. I am a mother, and I will never neglect my child, nor will I ever neglect my country. I believe that in the end, what is right will always prevail. From the sixth of us, may the best woman win!)
Photo from rappler.com