A BIT of friction between a presidentiable and the host ensued in the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) presidential forum Tuesday.

Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Senator Noynoy Aquino called out on host Tony Lopez before he gave his concluding speech, saying Lopez was biased.

But Aquino denied that he lost his composure during the forum.

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Aside from Aquino, attending the event were Gilbert Teodoro (Lakas-Kampi-CMD), Senator Manny Villar (Nacionalista Party), Senator Richard Gordon (Bagumbayan), Bro. Eddie Villanueva (Bangon Pilipinas), and former President Joseph Estrada (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino).

Lopez, during the forum, kept on reminding the attendees to keep their speeches within the allotted time.

At the start, Lopez introduced Villar as “hopefully the ex-future president” while he described Aquino as the candidate with good pedigree.

Aquino, in an interview after the forum, showed printouts of two articles allegedly written by Lopez. One of the articles was entitled "Manny Villar President from Day 1.”

Aquino admitted that he came in prepared as his first encounter with Lopez left him “thinking” to himself.

Lopez asked the LP bet who gave his father the late Senator Ninoy Aquino his passport when he arrived in the country during the Martial Law.

“Did he really have to ask that?" Aquino said in response.

Meanwhile, the presidential aspirants were grilled on fiscal and economic plans such as raising taxes, mining, customs, hunger, smuggling, non-performing agencies.

They were also asked to name three people they will appoint to the Cabinet.

Teodoro focused on synergistic relationship between the government and private sectors.

Villar highlighted the need for job producing industries such as Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs).

Villanueva talked about his moral ascendancy program, while Gordon uttered political will and his success with Subic and Red Cross.

Aquino maintained that he will not raise taxes by recovering funds left to graft and corruption.

Light moments in the forum ensued when Estrada asked the panel to repeat the question.

Lopez repeated the question himself in Tagalog, prompting Estrada to say “marunong naman akong mag-English ah.”

The former President also bragged about his success on the agriculture sector during his tenure. (Angela Casauay/Sunnex)