Presidential candidate and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said the next leader of the country should have moral excellency apart from being excellent academically and professionally.
In her statement during the Presidential Debate held in Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday, the lawmaker said she believes that it is important that the next president has a clean and untainted record.
“The most important is that he should have moral excellency, dapat ang ibinoboto natin ay walang bahid sa kanyang record o kung may inimbento mang masyadong hindi kapani-paniwala,” she said.
“Una, there should be an academic excellence, dapat naging head of the class or at least naging honor student, dahil kung hindi naman marunong eh ano ngayon ang ibibigay niyang dunong sa atin.
Pangalawa, may professional excellence, kung naging professional, ‘yung dapat binigyan siya ng mga award ng mga kapwa professional nya dahil sa hanga sila sa kanya,” added the presidential bet of the People’s Reform Party (PRP).
At the same time, she reminded the public that the debate was held for the voters to know and scrutinize the candidates.
“We are here looking for a real leader of the Philippines, who will implement all the viable suggestions that were made here this evening, but this is not a personality contest. This is not a show for entertainment, this is a show to educate the Filipino voter on what his own responsibilities are in addition to those that are being assumed by presidential candidates,” Santiago said.
She also wished the voters and her fellow presidential aspirants good luck, as she hoped that the country will be a happy and prosperous nation.
“Good luck to you and good luck to all of us. I hope this country will deserve to be what God meant it to be, a happy and prosperous nation,” the senator added.
Santiago together with administration bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, and Senator Grace Poe attended the first of the three presidential debates held at the Capitol University.
The debate was telecast live on GMA 7, the host of the event together with the Philippine Daily Inquirer in cooperation with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The two other presidential debates will be held on March 20 in either University of San Carlos in Cebu City or University of the Philippines-Visayas in Iloilo City, and University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City on April 24. (PNA / Ferdinand G. Patinio)