Analysts: Duterte charms in debate, softens image


Presidential hopeful Rodrigo Duterte significantly improved his image in the second leg of the Commission on Election-led debate, analysts said.

Dean Julio Teehankee of the De La Salle University College of Liberal Arts (DLSU CLA) likened the overall demeanor of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to a "choir boy," who is well-behaved but with a hint of naughtiness, producing a more charming version of him.

Teehankee said Duterte's efforts to be charming were more evident in the outtakes where he was seen mixing well with the other candidates, but Teehankee pointed out that his mention of violence could always turn off the independent voters he’s been trying to lure.

Professor Edna Co of the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance, on the other hand, observed that Duterte once again tried to convince people that he is a 'decisive leader' but failed to expound how he will execute his promise of zeroing on criminals within three to six months.

Teehankee added that Duterte often went off-topic during the debate and that played to his weakness so he should re-calibrate.