Duterte expects rivals to attack him in 3rd presidential debate

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the current poll front runner, is expecting his rivals to go on the offensive against him during the 3rd and last presidential debate on Sunday, April 24.

"I will expect that. When you are the ripe one, they will throw stones [at you]," Duterte told reporters as he arrived at the Phinma University of Pangasinan.

In the latest ABS-CBN poll released hours before the debate, Duterte retained his lead against his opponents. 

The survey ended just before his controversial remarks on the rape-slay of Australian lay missionary Jacqueline Hamill started to gain traction online.

Duterte received flak over his joke and his flip-flopping apology afterwards. 

Presidential bets Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Grace Poe, and Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II has been hitting Duterte over his rape joke as well as his lofty promise to suppress crime within 3 to 6 months. 

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, meanwhile, said that if voters did not like Duterte's remarks, they can express it through the ballot on May. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.