It was Poe vs. Roxas at Meet Your Candidates forum

Both presidential candidates speak about their administrative plans, tax reform, MRT woes, and more.


( Presidential aspirants Mar Roxas and Sen. Grace Poe spoke before business executives and members of the business industry at the Meet Your Candidates forum on November 25. Both spoke in separate turns, and answered questions from the audience. Here are their stands.


Sen. Grace Poe



Poe started her speech with an indirect hit at Roxas' punctuality (or lack thereof).

“I wanted to wait a few minutes to give the courtesy to Sec. Mar. But understanding the worsening traffic in Metro Manila, I hope you don’t mind that I go ahead this evening.”


On her experience:

Is there any evidence from our history that shows that long years in public service automatically translate to good governance and effective economic policy? Not necessarily.


On inclusive growth:

"With the help of experts, I am working on an economic reform package that aims to reduce barriers to investments across a broad spectrum of industries.


On her administrative plans:

"Indeed, I can bypass the traditional rituals and practices that bind the experienced politicians, appoint the best people outside the usual circles and propose fresh ideas.” 


On potential cabinet members:

"I will choose my cabinet wisely and according on merit alone. Friendship will not be a criterion. Neither will be gratitude for favors done.


On decision making:

Decisions on the basis of principle rather than political expediency, no matter who gets hurt.



"Is Sec. Mar Roxas a good manager?"

I think more could have been done. I think our people deserve better and I think that it’s really a matter of vision, planning and execution, and leadership that could’ve spelled the difference.




Mar Roxas


On his project as Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Chief, Oplan Lambat Simbat:

"Is it glamorous? No. Does it make headlines? No. But there's 500 people every week that are no longer victims of crime.


On amending the Constitution:

 "Let's imagine we change [the Constitution]. The problems of harassment are still there: the problems of corruption at BIR, Customs, Immigration are still there."



On being open to tax reform:

I’m the only guy that actually passed a law to cut taxes. When you elected me senator in 2004, the law that enables minimum wage earners not to pay tax now was sponsored and written by yours truly. So all of these others are wish ko lang. I’ve actually done something about it."

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On debates about tax reform:

I just don’t think that in a heated and politicized environment, you could have a rational debate about taxes...I think that a responsible debate about taxes carries with it the responsibility of saying ‘I want to cut this and accordingly cut this.’ It’s a zero-sum game.



Roxas answers Poe’s statement that he has not done enough as DOTC Chief:

I am confident that we did all that we could do given what we could do at that time. I challenge her, I challenge everyone.” 


On the existing Metro Rail Transit (MRT) contract:

The contract started in original sin…I would abrogate it.” 


Photo screenshots from ANC

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