MANILA — As expected, vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. praised his presidential running mate Miriam Defensor Santiago but also gave credit to independent presidential aspirant Grace Poe for coming well prepared in the first presidential debates last Sunday.

”I think she (Poe) was very well prepared. She did very well. Overall, like she always does in the Senate where she always prepared to speak, and it the same yesterday,” Marcos said in a press conference during his campaign sortie in Muntinlupa City.

Marcos, however, said Poe’s lack of experience would be an issue as what administration bet Mar Roxas has pointed out during the debates.

”I think she will be having a little bit difficulty because she is just three years in government,” Marcos said.

Poe has answered Roxas’ concerns, saying ”there is no proof that if you have long experience, you are good. I think that among us, I might have the shortest experience but, as a mother, I can see the needs of a family.”

The lady senator, who was rumored as daughter of Marcos father, the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, to actress Rosemarie Sanora, said experience is not always the best qualification for candidates running for highest position in the land.

Both Marcos and Poe have denied the rumors which revived after Poe announced her presidential bid last year.

Marcos believed that Santiago, a former trial court judge and law expert, outshone her presidential rivals during the first of the three presidential debates organized by the Commission on Elections and televised live over GMA-7.

”As expected by everybody, I think she did very well. We all know that when it comes to debates, Senator Miriam is an expert,” Marcos said.

On Santiago’s health, Marcos is doing very well and ready to campaign for her third presidential bid.

”Of course she has a condition that she has to take care of. But other than that she is handling the campaign very well,” Marcos said.

Marcos also believed that Santiago will be able to improve her rating from fifth place in Pulse Asia and SWS surveys since she is topping the universities polls.

In June 2014, Santiago claimed she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer but after a year of treatment, she has beaten her cancer and announced her intention to run again for president.

Santiago did not join Marcos during his campaign sortie in Muntinlupa where he held a motorcade under scorching heat of the sun just to visit at least three barangays (villages) to present his platforms of government. Jelly Musico/PNA/