POLITICS

Exclusive portraits from the CNN Philippines VP Debate 2022

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Before these candidates went onstage for the first Vice Presidential Debate of the 2022 general elections, they sat down for portraits and answered questions that captured snapshots of their beliefs, faith, and personalities. In photo: Senator Tito Sotto. Photo by JOSEPH PASCUAL

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 26) — An image is everything to a political campaign. From the way a candidate appears on their posters to the actual image they are projecting onscreen and during appearances and sorties. It’s what the electorate remembers of them. How kind they look, how much compassion they can show on their face, how staunch they are in their convictions, and how candid they are at any given moment.

Before these candidates went onstage for the first Vice Presidential Debate of the 2022 general elections, they sat down for portraits and answered questions that captured snapshots of their beliefs, faith, and personalities.

Photo by JL JAVIER

WALDEN BELLO

I want to become vice president because I want to make sure that the axis of evil Marcos and Duterte don’t come to power. And also because we want to offer a vision for the country that people will feel they can participate in creating it.

The first thing I’ll do if I win the elections is I’ll do several things. First, I will go with Ka Leody de Guzman to plant our flag in the Spratlys Island of Pag-asa. Secondly, we will pass the wealth tax. Third, we will begin proceedings to incarcerate President Duterte for human rights violations. Fourth, we will release Leila de Lima from imprisonment and we are going to raise the minimum wage to ₱750 a day.

I knew I was called to become a public servant when... I don’t know. It’s just that I slipped into the role.

In my first 100 days, I’ll prioritize passing the wealth tax, prosecuting Duterte, asserting our rights over the Spratlys, and making sure that labor gets a fair shape by legislating job security, and also having a minimum wage of ₱750, and passing very much-needed legislation for the welfare of women and the LGBT community.

A principle that I always live by is never tolerate evil like the Marcos-Duterte evil. You have to crush them.

Photo by JL JAVIER

RIZALITO DAVID

I want to become vice president because I have a mission.

The first thing I’ll do if I win the elections is to advise my president whoever he is to establish as his administration’s banner program the moral renewal and cultural restoration program.

I knew I was called to become a public servant when... I was born to do this.

A principle that I always live by is to serve the people as a way of serving God.

Photo by JL JAVIER

MANNY SD LOPEZ

I want to become vice president because I’d like to help fix the problems of the country and help uplift the lives of our people.

The first thing I’ll do if I win the elections is commit myself to fully support the incoming president.

I knew I was called to become a public servant when it has been a vocation except I was pretending not to pursue it but now that the matter practically, I would say dropped in my lap, I have to pursue it.

In my first 100 days, I’ll prioritize economic recovery.

A principle that I always live by is... Speak the truth, do what is best, do your best, and live a happy life.

Photo by JL JAVIER

WILLIE ONG

I want to become vice president kasi gusto kong tumulong sa maraming tao at marami tayong maililigtas na buhay.

The first thing I’ll do if I win the elections is magpapasalamat tayo sa lahat ng sumuporta sa atin at magtatrabaho na tayo, titignan natin kung ano ang gagawin, focus na tayo sa mga i-a-assign asa atin na trabaho.

I knew I was called to be a public servant… matagal naman na, 27 years naman na akong tumutulong sa mga mahihirap pero sa pulitika, gusto nating subukan kung mas marami tayong matutulungan kung meron tayong pwesto. Sa pribado kasi limited lang ang kaya kong tulungan.

In my first 100 days I will prioritize ang problema sa kalusugan, aayusin natin ang mga ospital, ‘yung mga gamot, tutulingan natin ‘yung mga health workers at gusto ko talaga maumpisan na ‘yung mental health [wellness].

A principle I always live by is wala akong inaaway, 100 percent honest ako, hindi ako pulitiko, hindi ako tumatanggap ng campaign funds kasi mahal ko ang tao, gusto ko lang tulungan kayo, ganon kasimple.

Photo by JL JAVIER

KIKO PANGILINAN

I want to become vice president because it’s an opportunity to use the wider platform to pursue our advocacies for support for our fisherfolk and farmers who have been deprived of the recognition, respect and support that they long deserve.

The first thing I’ll do if I win the elections is thank God, thank our supporters, and start preparing for the office.

I knew I was called to be a public servant after the restoration of democracy in 1988, when I was ending my stint as a student leader and activist.

In my first 100 days I will prioritize food security and full implementation of the Sagip Saka Act, and government intervention to institutionalize the community pantry system to address hunger.

A principle I always live by is kung hindi ko maipapaliwanag ‘yung mga desisyon ko sa aking mga anak, walang dahilan para gawin ‘yung mga desisyon na ‘yun.

Photo by JL JAVIER

CARLOS SERAPIO

I want to become vice president because I believe that the experiences I learned from 50 years of doing advocacy work in the just ordering of society can contribute to our aspiration to transition to a sacred and prosperous nation.

The first thing I’ll do if I win the elections is I’ll convene my political party to pray, give praise and honor to our almighty God for the gift of power that he has bestowed on me so that I can use it in the service of our people and country.

I knew I was called to become a public servant after my social awakening during the blighted communities of Malabon and Navotas way back in 1965. I was doing corporal works of mercy and teaching catechism in these poor communities.

In my first 100 days I will prioritize together with my president, the implementation of our transition platform and program of action.

A principle I always live by is inspired by a biblical admonition, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything will be added unto you.”

Photo by JL JAVIER

TITO SOTTO

I want to become vice president because I can implement the laws we have crafted well.

The first thing I’ll do if I win the elections is thank God.

I knew I was called to be a public servant when I entered Couples for Christ in 1987.

In my first 100 days I will prioritize internal cleansing of the government.

A principle I always live by is HIS: honesty, integrity and sincerity.