Comelec changes the format of the 3rd presidential debate


MANILA (2ND UPDATE) – The Electoral Commission (Comelec) said on Monday it is changing the format of its latest presidential and vice-presidential debates, following their postponement amid controversy over the non-payment of a entrepreneur at Sofitel for hosting events.

In an interview on ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo, commissioner George Garcia said the polling organization would instead hold interviews with candidates.

“Hindi na po ito yung debate with nakita natin dati o ‘yung mga tinatawag na townhall type of debate. It is po’y magigi pong parang personal interview and meetings, na may panel, and so mabibigyan po sila lahat ng is an buong oras upang ipahayag nila or kung matanong sila patungkol with kanilang mga plataporma and saka mga nais nilang sabihin,” he explained.

(This will no longer be a so-called town hall type debate. This will be a personal interview with a panel, and as a result, they will all have a full hour to relay or be questioned on their platforms.) shapes and what else they mean.)

Garcia said investigators will meet candidates where they are on the home stretch of their campaign.

“Kahit nasaang area sila susundan lang natin sila doon, papadala yung best panelist natin. To pagkatapos ay pupuwedeng pong dalawa po sila, yung mag-tandem, kakausapin natin, iinterviewhin natin,” he explained.

(Wherever they are, we’ll just follow them. We’ll send our best panelists, and we can interview them with their running mate.)

Interviewers can also speak with candidates virtually, Garcia said.

The conversations will be broadcast on member stations of Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) from May 2-6, the polling official said.

Garcia said he hopes all presidential and vice-presidential candidates will participate in panel interviews.

PROMDI’s standard bearer, Senator Manny Pacquiao, said that since a number of debates have already taken place in which the candidates have been able to address certain issues, both personal and of the country, he launches a call to Comelec so that, for the last time, everyone has enough time to present their platforms to the public.

“Know that there is no more kaalaman ang mga botante para makapagpasya nang tama sa araw ng halalan,” he said.

(Through this, voters will get more information that will help them decide wisely on Election Day.)

Aksyon Demokratiko presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso said he would be “happy to participate” in the panel interview if his schedule allows.

Malacañang said that while it is “unfortunate” that the debates are abandoned, the interview “is a welcome opportunity for the candidates to explain their intention and program to the Filipino electorate”.

“Informing and educating our people about presidential and vice-presidential candidates, regardless of platform, is crucial in a vibrant democracy like the Philippines. The Filipino people deserve no less,” the door said. – Acting Palace Spokesperson, Martin Andanar, in a statement.

— TéléRadio, April 25, 2022


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