: Presidential debate will be face to face with virtual audiences — Comelec

28 October 2021

By John Eric Mendoza |

MANILA, Philippines — Aspirants for the upcoming 2022 elections will debate face to face with virtual audiences, said Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez on Thursday.

Dismissing rumors that the debates will be conducted online due to new coronavirus-related restrictions, Jimenez said in a CNN Philippines interview: “They wouldn’t be, the candidates will be in the same place, they will be debating in person, but the audience will be virtual.”

Presidential aspirants Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno have expressed willingness to participate in a face-to-face debate.

Jimenez also said they are looking to have six debates: three for presidential candidates and three for those who vie for the vice presidency.

“Essentially, we are looking into six debates: three for president and three for vice president,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez noted three debates for presidential aspirants, but there was only one vice-presidential debate conducted back in 2016.

“This time, we are hoping to expand the number of vice-presidential debates seeing as how vice presidents are elected independently of the president,” Jimenez said.