Inquirer.net : Comelec bares debate details

6 March 2022

By Marlon Ramos | Inquirer.net

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) bared on Saturday some of the details of the presidential and vice presidential debates it will be holding on March 19 and March 20 and April 3.

James Jimenez, spokesperson for the Comelec, said in a statement “the three-hour debates will follow a single-moderator format, with no live audience.”

“Draw lots will determine to whom the first question will go. Succeeding questions, however, will be answered by the candidates in their alphabetical order,” he added.

The first presidential debate will be held on March 19 while the vice presidential debate is scheduled for March 20. Another presidential debate is set for April 3. The venues have yet to be announced.

Jimenez, however, did not comment on the complaints of candidates that informing them of the topics of the debate is like leaking the answers to examinations.

“Each debate is anchored on a set of predetermined topics on pressing concerns of the country, such as pandemic and the economy, and the pool of questions will come from the concerned sector groups,” Jimenez said.

In addition to the presidential and vice presidential debates this month, Jimenez said the poll body would also be hosting two separate town hall debates as part of the “PiliPinas Debates 2022” program.

He said the town hall debates, to he held on April 23 and April 24, would feature both remote and in-person audience and a post-debate roundtable.

On March 7, the Comelec is set to sign a formal agreement at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City with the group Vote Pilipinas in organizing the national debates.

“We are very excited to have the agreement signed so we can finally share the details and mechanics of this much-awaited Comelec-organized debates,” he said.

“This is a high-stakes event that the voting public has been fervently looking forward to so we expect all candidates to be on deck and ready to demonstrate why they deserve our vote,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said Vote Pilipinas had previously demonstrated its capability to mount successful campaign drives during the voter registration period.

“We are confident of their readiness and capacity to help ensure the success of this elections’ debates series,” he expressed.