Roxas: Maraming nasaktan sa campaign period
In one of his most excellent debate performances compared to the previous two, Mar Roxas honed in on a message lamenting the helpless who have been needless targets of political interests. In his closing speech, he said that there were too many that were hurt by campaigns using them for political agendas.
He pointed to women, the LGBT, people with disabilities, and senior citizens as targets that should never have been politicized to forward an agenda. This is an indirect swipe to Duterte, who has recently made derogatory comments on people with disabilities, as well as the controversial rape joke that earned him the ire of international ambassadors.
He has been dubbed by the international media as a possible "Filipino Trump".
"Patapos na ang kampanya. Panghuling debate na ito. The campaign is winding down. It has been vicious and divisive. Maraming mga nasaktan, kababaihan, LGBT, people with disabilities, senior citizens—madalas ang mga pinakawalang kalaban-laban," said Mar.
Duterte has said, shielding it as a mere street 'joke', that he should have had first dibs on an Australian missionary gang raped in a prison riot in 1989. He has also resorted to name calling, calling rival Mar "bayot" or gay multiple times. It has also earned him infamy among LGBT people, who see it as derogatorily implying that being a gay, being born for who you are, makes intrinsically weak.
Duterte hasn't stopped there, because people with disabilities were also the subject of his so-called 'jokes'. He has violated the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons already because of those remarks.
This is not who we are
Roxas argued that this behaviour is not natural to Filipinos, urging the audience to see real Filipino values such as generosity, warmth, loving and caring.
"But this is not who we are as a people... We are a generous people. We are warm. We are loving. Mapagbigay tayo. Ang magulang, isusubo na lang, ibibigay pa sa anak. We do it because we want our children to have more and they deserve more."
Duterte has used the people's frustration at the slow change in the government to catapult his campaign forward, a move that Roxas warned is an attempt to mislead people in the wrong direction and cause even more divide and arbitrary prejudice.
"Ang iba gagamitin ang ating frustration para lokohin tayo, para makalimutan natin na malayo na ang narating natin, para makalimutan natin kung sino tayo bilang Pilipino, para makalimutan natin na ang tunay at makabuluhang pagbabago, hindi nakakamit sa paninisi, sa pang-iinsulto, o sa pang-soundbite lamang," said the statesman.