A POLITICAL forum in Manila last Monday had aspirants for the presidency in the May elections answer questions about their candidacy, their stand on issues, and their plans if elected.

It was a chance for the candidates to tell the nation’s electorate what they would do should they win in the May 10 elections, and what they are capable of accomplishing over the six years.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

The presidential candidates, sans Erap Estrada, faced a “lively” audience who peppered them with all sorts of questions.

While the discussion of significant issues held the affair at a decent level, a tinge of traditional politics was observed.

The performance of the only female presidential candidate betrayed a personal rage against Manny Villar.

Jamby Madrigal did not mince any word to hit her pet peeve with what may seem as low blows, exposing at the same time a personality that is capable of “oral violence.”

Favorites

But other than that, the forum truly did a fruitful introduction of the candidates to our people.

Based on the applause of the audience, “the favorites were Noynoy Aquino, Richard Gordon, Gibo Teodoro, Manny Villar and Madrigal.

And what were these “presidentiables” saying about their candidacies that made a good impression for them among their listeners?

Aquino: While he would listen to advice, he will speak his own mind and make his own decision.

He was apparently trying to dispel the public impression that if he wins, his sister Kris, or his vice president will be the ones making the decisions for him.

Gordon: While he agrees that no president would like to impose new taxes, he said he would be lying if he says he will not do so if he wins the presidency.

If we want to develop and progress, we must accept some sacrifices, he added.

Teodoro: He says he abhors corruption in public office.

Campaign funds

Villar: He says that while he is spending much for his campaign commercials, he is paying them from his own pocket, not from donations from the business sector or from his friends.

He would not return any favors if he wins, he said.

Madrigal: “I will not accept any campaign contributions from big business,” she said.

It’s now the voters’ turn to use their insights and make their presidential choices.