WATCH: Miriam vs Mar: Like an oral exam

ABS-CBN News

It was like an oral exam for administration standard-bearer Mar Roxas when presidential rival Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago asked him to enumerate examples of each kind of excellence -- academic, professional and moral -- that he possesses.

Santiago, during the third and last leg of the PiliPinas Debates 2016 held at the PHINMA University of Pangasinan on Sunday, said these three types of excellence are the requirements for a good president.

Roxas said his academic record is clear, being a graduate of the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, which he described as one of the best business schools in the United States.

READ: Wharton confirms Roxas is its alumnus

As to his professional excellence, Roxas said the feisty senator herself would be the best judge. Roxas and Santiago have worked together in the Senate.

"We have defended treaties. I have been both an interpellator to yourself as well as you have interpellated me. I think you would be the best judge as to my capability in understanding the issues, particularly complex as they may be," Roxas told Santiago.

In terms of moral integrity, meanwhile, the former interior secretary cited what he called his unblemished public service record.

"I think that my record, 23 years in public life, not once having been connected to any kind of anomaly, speaks for itself. Walang mantsa, walang bahid," he said.

Santiago, however, then pointed out that some people see Roxas' "elitist" background as too narrow a path for him to become a good president.

Roxas answered: "As Batman said, it is not important how you came into this world. What is important is what you did with your life. And my life over the last 20 years has been a public record. You have been a witness to many elements of my life as we worked together in the Senate, fighting for cheaper medicines, fighting the banks and the insurance companies."

"My record stands for itself. It is not a question of how I came into this world, but what I did with my life."

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