The Filipino Twittersphere came alive on Feb. 27 evening as netizens share their reactions to the recently concluded CNN Philippines Presidential Debate, which saw nine presidential candidates face off and share their stances on political issues with the public.
As of writing, #CNNPHPresidentialDebate was the top trending topic on Twitter, with over 265,000 tweets. Other related topics dominated the local trending list, including Ka Leody, Montemayor, Isko, Leni Robredo, Manny Pacquiao, and event host Pinky Webb.
On top of the serious issues tackled during the debate, netizens shared memes and moments they found iconic from the debate.
One Twitter user joked about how VP Robredo was "rapping" as she was enumerating what she's done since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Another was able to catch Ka Leody De Guzman imitate rival Isko Moreno's pose as they were standing next to each other.
During the debate, Jose Montemayor Jr. asked Moreno about the excess campaign funds from his 2016 senatorial bid, mistakenly saying it was $50 million donated by Bill Gates.
One user made fun with the mention of the Microsoft co-founder while another was surprised with how Moreno brought out his BIR receipts, asserting he paid taxes on the unused funds.
Not Isko Moreno serving Rich Housewife of Potomac Miss Monique "Keeper of Receipts" Samuels realness ? pic.twitter.com/KmZco1kgeh— ????????? (@ZawadiJerome) February 27, 2022
On Marcos' absence
Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s absence from the presidential debate was mentioned during the debate by event hosts Pia Hontiveros and Pinky Webb. Candidates like De Guzman also pointed out the former senator's nonattendance. Some detail-oriented netizens reacted to how the event's crew would show Marcos' blank podium right on cue, with others saying the cameraman "understood the assignment."
Speaking of Marcos, users were also cheering for De Guzman when things got heated between him and Montemayor.
"Akala ko ba absent si Marcos, andito pala," the labor leader said.
Netizens joked about how the labor leader "chose violence" during the debate.
Host Pinky Webb also trended during the evening for her facial expressions and her closing statement, "That's why debates are a trusted source."
On Pacquiao's answer about LGBTQ+ civil union
Meanwhile, Sen. Manny Pacquiao received backlash for his answer on where he stands with civil union for people in the LGBTQ+ community.
"Tutol po ako diyan. Kailangan imaging pantay tayo. Pare-pareho tayo sa bansa natin na walang pinaburan, anumang klaseng tao., Pero iyong sinasabi natin na pagdating sa same-sex marriage, against ako diyan," he said.
Manny Pacquiao and his bible-based beliefs will never ever ever sit well with me. Last time, he mentioned that he has a lot of LGBTQ+ supporters, but he doesn't even support them. If you have biases based on your religion, I really don't think you can handle this position.— ally (@reginevlsqz) February 27, 2022
What Manny fails to understand is that same sex marriage goes BEYOND the conversation about gender and sex. The lives, security, and survival of Filipino LGBT couples/families are also at stake here. #CNNPHPresidentialDebate— Lau #67GABRIELA (@katalonans) February 27, 2022
pacquiao stalling when asked about his stance for the lgbt is an exact representation of what happens when you mix church and state. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. (yes manny, you do not make sense)#CNNPHPresidentialDebate— jeré ? #LetLeniLead (@jerek1dd0) February 27, 2022