: Comelec commissioner: ‘There will be changes in debate format’ on April 3

29 March 2022

By Daniza Fernandez |

MANILA, Philippines — Expect changes in the next presidential debate that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) organized for Sunday, April 3, Commissioner George Erwin Garcia said Tuesday.

“There will be changes in the debate format this [S]unday. Expect more clash of wits and the passions will be high among themselves,” Garcia said in a message to reporters.

Garcia did not give further details on the changes but said he would discuss them with members of the media on Thursday, March 31.

The first Comelec presidential debate on March 19 ran for three hours with a single moderator and no live audience.

The candidate who will respond to the first question was determined through draw lots while succeeding questions were answered by candidates in alphabetical order.

Of the 10 bets applying to become the next president of the country, only Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. declined to attend the first Comelec presidential debate.

As a consequence of not participating in the Comelec-organized debates, candidates will be restricted from airing their electronic rallies on the poll body’s platform, according to spokesperson James Jimenez.

But the poll body chair said they are looking to impose additional sanctions for debate skippers.